Ireland’s major commercial stations broadcast female artists at a lower rate than most national radios



COMMERCIAL IRISH RADIO stations continue to broadcast male performers at a much higher rate than women, a report identified.

A Analysis songs broadcast by Irish radio found that most – but not all – radio stations broadcast songs from men more often than songs from women and that artists of color are under-represented in the highest rankings .

Between June 2020 and June 2021, most of the national radio stations – Lyric FM, 2FM, Radio One, Pulse and RTÉ’s 2XM – saw male performers represent between 25% and 60% of the performers behind the 20 most played songs. .

However, RTÉ Radio na Gaeltachta only saw three female acts in its top 20 most played songs, with 70% male acts and 15% collaborations.

On commercial stations, male artists were performed 50-100% of the time in the top 20 songs.

These stations include Today FM, Beat FM, iRadio, Spin, and FM 104.

On FM104, no woman or person of color made it to the top 20 of the charts, nor for the past five years, according to the analysis.

Only 10% of the most represented artists on iRadio and 15% on Today FM were women.

In Cork, Red FM, 96FM and C103 also played predominantly 90% male each.

Source: Why not his collective

Commercial RDA

Source: Why not his collective

Analysis shows that stations are starting to broadcast songs by artists of color more often, but still at a lower frequency than songs by white artists.

In the 2019/2020 report, Soulé was the only artist to feature in the top 20 of the high-turnover broadcast charts for Irish radio.

Last year there was an increase of between 5% and 30% at the major broadcast stations of artists of color.

RTÉ Radio One’s 20 best songs included 12 female acts (Tolu Makay, Mary Coughlan, Irish Women in Harmony, CMAT, Niamh Regan (x2), Ailbhe Reddy, Imelda May, Lorraine Nash, Soda Blonde and Denise Chaila) and four artists of color (Denise Chaila, Irish Women In Harmony and Tolü Makay [x2]).

Linda Coogan Byrne, founder of Why Not Her? collective that put together the analysis, said that “as with the last report, we still see the same male names at the top of the list.”

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“The Irish musical landscape is not a homogenized male scene, but it is run by the costumed patriarchy that refuses to adapt to its times,” said Coogan Byrne.

“There is a diverse multicultural dynamism which is reaching an all time high, this has to be reflected in the radio stations in Ireland. “

She said that broadcast royalties are one of the main ways for an artist to generate income, and that especially in the context of the impact of Covid-19 on the music industry, women and people of color should have fair airtime opportunities.

Last year, the report found that female artists made up just 7.3% of all of the top 20 artists.

The Cranberries accounted for six entries out of the 41 female artists, and four stations – FM 104, LM FM, WLR FM and South East Radio – had no female artists in their top 20 during the period.

In this year’s report, singer-songwriter RuthAnne said it was’ encouraging to see some Irish radio stations making the switch and to see more female and POC artists on the rosters this year. year and we are very grateful to these stations and we hope it continues for a long time ”.

“However, there is clearly a long way to go for many radio stations still showing so much resistance to support and defend our own Irish-made female and POC artists,” she said.



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