News stories are breaking about equal play for female artists on CMT and associated music channels. An announcement at Wide Open Country summed up the new initiative.
I’m glad to see steps being taken to increase the presence of women, but CMT aside, we have to ask whether this will have any impact on broader country radio programming.
“Viacom-owned cable television network CMT (Country Music Television) challenged gatekeepers and encouraged talented women with the Jan. 21 announcement of its Equal Play initiative. Per a Jan. 21 tweet, “music video hours on CMT and CMT Music channels will have complete parity between male and female artists. That means 50/50. #CMTEqualPlay“
I’ve written previous articles about radio programming whose controllers are openly negative about playing women’s songs. Some controllers claim listeners won’t tune in to female music as much as male music. Thing is, if it’s not offered, no one can tune in.
In 2018 I wrote about Shania Twain calling attention to something else, though.
Twain talked about the boring “sameness” of country songs. I’ve written about the merger of country with pop. If you watch various videos on TV channels, you may, as I have, end up wondering why the video is on a country channel.
At any rate, it looks like CMT is voluntarily addressing an imbalance, and hopefully, that’s a good thing. I’m hoping it won’t lead to token play of popish songs just to satisfy a percentage, or further dilution of quality for the same purpose.
From an indie artist standpoint, indie radio stations, both Web-based and traditional, are a better resource than mass market channels and stations anyway.
(Kay B. Day/Jan. 23, 2020)
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