Spotify, fix your algorithm and stop minimizing songs recorded by women artists

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I love music, and I love streaming music. But there’s one thing about companies like Spotify that’s really unacceptable: their music algorithm continues to favor male artists way over female artists. And that needs to change.

Last month, music superstar Martina McBride did an experiment where she created a “Country Music” playlist, and then turned to Spotify’s algorithm for recommendations of what to include. Spotify recommended more than 140 songs by men before finally recommending a song from a woman artist. 

A few weeks later, other music experts did the same experiment, and this time it took more than 120 songs to appear in Spotify’s algorithm before an artist by a woman finally was recommended. 

This kind of gender balance is unacceptable, hurts the industry, hurts music, and short changes the brilliant careers of countless women artists. Stand with me to encourage Spotify to fix their algorithm so that their recommendations include parity between male and female artists. 

I’m a huge country music fan. My first ever concert was Shania Twain, and my most recent concert was Kacey Musgraves. And yet despite the popularity, sales, and awards for artists such as Kacey, services like Spotify continue to minimize their contribution to music by prioritizing male singers in their algorithms. 

We already know women are massively underrepresented on radio – Carrie Underwood is the top female artist and on radio she receives HALF the spins of the top male artist Kenny Chesney. So this isn’t just a problem for up and coming female artists but for the superstars as well. Streaming has a chance to be a place for women artists to be spotlighted and celebrated, not kicked to the bottom by the algorithm to then mirror the discrepancy.

I want the music industry and the country music industry specifically to do better by all of the artists who are recording. Streaming services like Spotify play a huge role in this: if fans only have music from male artists recommended to them, it sends a damaging message that women in country music aren’t important. 

Help me send a loud message to Spotify that if their algorithm is only recommending songs by women artists every 120 times, then their algorithm is broken and needs to be fixed.