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Irish singer/songwriter Soulé made the top 20 on nine Irish radio stations.
Irish singer/songwriter Soulé made the top 20 on nine Irish radio stations.
Image: Instagram/Souleofficial

Across Irish radio stations, female artists make up just 7% of the top Irish artists played

New research has highlighted the lack of airplay for female Irish artists.
Jun 24th 2020, 4:38 PM 17,752 80

A NEW ANALYSIS of airplay on Irish radio has shown a dramatic disparity between the broadcast of male and female Irish artists. 

The Gender Disparity Report was compiled by music PR consultant Linda Coogan Byrne and her colleague Aine Tyrrel and takes account of airplay over the last 12 months. 

The research found that, out of the top 20 Irish artists across 28 music-paying radio stations encompassing 560 artists, just 41 are female. 

This means that female artists represent just 7.3% of the all the top 20 artists. 

The Cranberries, featuring the late Dolores O’Riordan, make up six entries on the 41 female-featured artists. Soulé accounts for nine of those entries. 

Four stations, FM 104, LM FM, WLR FM and South East Radio, had no female artists in their top 20. 

Of the remainder that did feature a female artist, most had just one woman in the top 20. 

RTÉ Radio One was the only station to have a gender balanced top 20, featuring a 50-50 split in the top 20. RTÉ 2FM had two female acts in its top 20, Roisin Murphy and Soulé. 

PastedImage-79414 Source: Linda Coogan Byrne

The research also looked at the top 5 most-played songs by Irish artists at each of the stations. In that category, a female artist featured just four times in the combined 140 places. 

That occured on RTÉ Radio One with Katie Theasby’s If I Go Sailing, Bronagh Gallagher’s Greatest Love and on Midwest Radio with Claudia Buckley’s Diane and The Murphy’s Dancing With The Fisherman. 

Across the 28 radio stations, Outnumbered by Dermot Kennedy was the most played song on 20 stations while Niall Horan had a number of entries, appearing across the radio top fives on 26 occasions. 

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In the report, Coogan Byrne outlines that the research uses Radiomonitor to register the airplay. 

Eleanor McEvoy, musician & chairperson of IMRO, is quoted in the report as saying it makes for “thoroughly depressing reading”

“The situation seems to be getting worse not better. I grew up hearing very few female artists on the radio and it seems incomprehensible to me that we are still in that place today,” she said.

“The unconscious bias towards male musicians, songwriters and performers is staggering. Looking at these figures I’m frustrated at the talent that we’re losing, the songs that will be missed and the voices that we’re never going to hear.”

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Rónán Duffy

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