Author: Chelsea North

CMT & Coleman Insights Conduct First of Its Kind Study Proving That Country Music Fans Want to Hear More Women on the Radio

NASHVILLE – February 18, 2020 CMT and Coleman Insights today released first of its kind research unveiling unprecedented insights into country radio listeners habits and attitudes toward female artists. Debunking long-perpetuated myths claiming both female and male listeners don’t want to hear female voices, CMT’s Equal Play Radio Research proves they want equal play for female artists on country radio, as well as more female artists in the genre they helped to build.

Commissioned by CMT Insights, data from Coleman Insights reveals that not only do 84% of listeners want equal play for women on radio, but 7 out of 10 want more female artists in the genre. Listeners reported they would even seek out country radio more if women were specifically highlighted, with 28% saying they would listen to radio more if additional female artists were featured, versus 11% who would listen less. 

“The age-old myth that ‘women don’t want to hear women’ has led to a multitude of unproven public claims about female voices on the air, including ‘you can’t play two women back-to-back’ or ‘ratings drop when you play women’” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music & Talent, CMT. “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.”

While it may be common knowledge among industry insiders that more male artists are played on country radio than female, listeners were polled for the first time to uncover whether or not they recognized the bias. The data proves the understanding to be nearly universal, with 72% of country listeners reporting they hear more songs sung by men on country radio, with no differences shown in gender or age. 

Contrary to popular belief, CMT’s Equal Play Radio Research indicates that a majority of fans are indeed open to hearing female voices, with 53% reporting no gender preference when it comes to artists. Listeners also heavily acknowledge (88%) the pivotal role females have played in country music’s history, a theme that is reiterated in additional research released earlier this week by University of Ottawa’s Dr. Jada Watson.


Continued Fram: “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. This is about a balance of gender and diversity. It’s essential for all voices to be heard.”

Read Coleman Insights’ full executive summary here.


The specific findings of the study will be discussed at an industry panel ahead of Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Nashville on Tuesday, February 18. The research overview will be conducted by Sam Milkman, Executive Vice President and Senior Consultant, Coleman Insights and will be followed by a panel moderated by CMT’s Leslie Fram with Milkman, Dr. Jada E. Watson, Cody Alan (Host & Executive Producer, CMT Radio), Cris Lacy (Senior Vice President, A&R, Warner Music Nashville) and Mike Molinar (General Manager, Big Machine Music). 


This marks the official kick-off of CMT Equal Play campaign, the brand’s year-long initiative to create measurable industry-wide action to dramatically increase female representation in country music and create a path for parity in 2020. Last month, CMT pledged 50/50 video airplay parity for female and male artists across CMT and CMT Music channels. CMT Radio followed suit by announcing CMT Radio Live with Cody Alan would also be implementing 50/50, a 100% increase in female airplay on their weeknight shows airing 7p-12midnight. Visit for more information and use #CMTEqualPlay to join the conversation. 

Coleman Insights to Present “Contemporary Music Superstudy 2” At Worldwide Radio Summit

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, October 29, 2019 – Coleman Insights will present the findings of its second “Contemporary Music SuperStudy” at Worldwide Radio Summit 2020. The research project examines the current appetite for contemporary music among 1,000 12- to 54-year-olds across the United States and Canada.

“We’re excited to field the Contemporary Music SuperStudy again to get a look at the current state of contemporary music”, said Coleman Insights President Warren Kurtzman. “Like last year, we’ll look at things such as the taste differences between radio listeners and streamers, fans of different formats and how scores change based on your age, gender and where you live. But now we can see how contemporary tastes are changing and the way things are trending.”

The study will utilize a song list comprised of the most consumed songs of 2019 as measured by MRC Data/BDSradio (formerly Nielsen Music) that includes radio airplay, streaming and sales data.

Insights from last year’s Contemporary Music Study included: Hip Hop/R&B is the most consumed genre; Pop over-performs with all age groups; and while their overall tastes are very different, Trump supporters and detractors agree on the same #1 song – “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.

Kurtzman, alongside EVP/Senior Consultants John Boyne and Sam Milkman, will present “The Contemporary Music SuperStudy 2” Friday, March 27th at 11:25 AM at Worldwide Radio Summit 2020 at Castaway in Burbank, California.

 Registration is now open for Worldwide Radio Summit at