Numlock Sunday: Jan Diehm on the rules pushing out women in country music radio
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition.
This week, I spoke to Jan Diehm, who wrote “Country music is powered by women like Carrie Underwood and Maren Morris, but even they are barely played back-to-back” for The Pudding. Here's what I wrote about it:
Songs by women account for just 11 percent of total plays on country music radio in 2022, but what’s odd is that it’s incredibly rare to hear two songs back to back that are sung by women on country music radio. Even at 11 percent of the spins, over the course of a day you’d still expect to have 30 to 40 back-to-back songs by women. In fact, over the course of one analysis of 19 dates of country radio, that averaged out to closer to three, with just 64 out of 6,474 songs (0.99 percent) back-to-back songs by women.
This is such an amazing story. It reveals a dark truth about the country music radio business, including unwritten and written rules enshrining misogyny in the policies, all told in a brilliant data story. It’s eye-op…