CMT Announces Complete Parity of Female and Male Video Airplay to Encourage Equal Play

This week, “Country Music Television (CMT)” took to social media to make a big announcement that would affect female country music singers in a very positive light.

For more than a decade, female country singers have received less airplay than their male counterparts. Until now, no media house was willing to remedy this situation until now.

However, CMT took the bold step by announcing a big change to their viewing schedule.

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood perform onstage at the Billboard Music Awards on May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood perform onstage at the Billboard Music Awards on May 18, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

CMT announces equal play

The network revealed that female and male country music videos would be played equally on their platforms. Taking to Twitter, CMT wrote:

“Effective immediately all music video hours on CMT and CMT Music channels will have complete parity between male and female artists."

Airplay would now be split to promote equal play. Leslie Fram, the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Music & Talent at CMT released a statement regarding the change.

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My #WCW’s, y’all 😍

A post shared by CMT (@cmt) on

CMT steps up for female country singers

She explained why the network was making the change tweeting:

"Time is really up in 2020! All the talk around what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform into action, once and for all."

Fram further explained that his company was keen on living up to their commitments. The brand already runs the CMT Next Women of Country Franchise.

What the airplay ratio used to be

The SVP also tantalized their fans by sharing that “a new initiative” would be announced in the coming weeks with the hopes of creating “much-needed change in our industry." Previously both CMT and CMT Music channels had a 40/60 ratio of video airplay in favor of male artists.

Other initiatives targeted at female country stars

A distribution partnership with over 230 radio stations around the United States will also be implemented. CMT also runs the CMT Next Women of Country Tour and CMT Next Women of the County event to promote female country music artists.

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Some of you may have seen my story yesterday about the lack of women being recommended on Spotify. For those of you who didn’t you can check out the link in my bio for details. Just wanted to give you a little update. @spotify reached out to me and we sat down this morning to discuss how we can work together to fix the problem. But I want to say, it’s a much bigger issue than just Spotify. It’s an industry wide issue. Many people shoulder the responsibility within this industry. And I will be speaking my thoughts on that in the coming days. As I said yesterday, a female perspective is so important…and has ALWAYS been important…to the narrative of country music. We have an entire generation of teenage girls that have a limited example of female perspective on their radio station. And as I said in my post, if they aren’t hearing women, who is going to show them that they can also dream big dreams of being onstage and on the radio just like I did when I was a kid looking up to Reba and Patty and Loretta and Dolly and so many others? (Kathy, Suzy, Wynonna, Tanya) Music should be inclusive and it’s up to all artists and industry gatekeepers to come to the table now and work together. Yes it might mean someone taking a chance, taking a risk, doing a little extra. But let’s keep this conversation going. Part of the issue is that the gatekeepers say that listeners, especially women listeners, do not want to hear women artists. I’m not making this up. It’s been said over and over. So I want your help in making a kickass female playlist for Spotify. In my Instagram story I’m going to put an “ask anything” box for you to put in your “requests”. You can also leave them in the comments below. Tell your friends! Let’s make a difference! xo Martina #fairplay

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Martina upset with lack of female representation

The issue with a lack of visibility for female country singers is something that has been on the table for a while. Last year, Martina McBride got upset with the status quo.

The country music icon spoke out after struggling to create a Spotify list of country stars when only one female artist was recommended by the streaming service.

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