So much for the myth that female country music singers aren't as popular as their male counterparts.
In the new equal play research study conducted by CMT and Coleman Insights, it's reported that 84% of the 1,000 listeners polled between the ages of 25-54 want equal airplay on radio for female artists, while seven out of 10 listeners want to have more female artists in country music.
Additionally, 72% of listeners said they hear more songs by men than women on country radio, while 44% responded that they would be "very interested" in a radio station that highlights women. More than half said they don't have a gender preference when it comes to the artists they listen to.
"When we approached Coleman Insights about this specific line of research, we were shocked to learn no one had ever commissioned data on the listeners themselves. CMT took it directly to the fans and what we found couldn’t have been more clear: listeners want equal play and women do want to hear women on the radio,” CMT senior vice president of Music & Talent, Leslie Fram explained.
"This tells us country music fans want to hear good songs period. But it also tells us that we are training listeners not to hear female voices. Without creating an equal playing field, fans don’t know what they are missing," she said. "This is about a balance of gender and diversity. It’s essential for all voices to be heard."
The new study comes roughly one month after CMT put into effect its 50/50 video airplay initiative, meaning that its 29 prime-time video hours are split equally between female and male artists.