Spotify looks at playlist gender equality after Martina McBride’s outcry

After country artist Martina McBride shared her anger about how little women were recommended in Spotify’s playlists, the music streaming service has responded.

Country music star Martina McBride hit out at Spotify after finding a lack of diversity in what Spotify was presenting her. After deciding to create a playlist called ‘Country Music’ she found that all the song recommendations given to her by Spotify were male artists.

McBride claims that she refreshed the recommendations 14 times before she was finally presented a female artist to add. To add insult to injury, the entire reason she had decided to create the playlist was after listening to a female country artist and feeling inspired to make a collection.

She shared her discovery on social media, writing: “Come on Spotify, you can and should do better.” She added that this discovery came “on a week when we had four stellar releases by women”, citing: Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, The Highwomen, Kelsea Ballerini, and Sheryl Crow.

Spotify’s head of artist and label marketing in Nashville, Brittany Schaffer, responded and admitted that she agreed. After an apparent coffee meeting between the two, Schaffer added in an Instagram comment she promises to be “working more closely with you and the other women who are instrumental to this industry”.

McBride added after the meeting that she felt like the rest of Spotify still weren’t taking the matter seriously, or providing a statement to even show they had heard the message. She said: “That’s what really upset me the most. I felt we’d been erased. I felt like the entire female gender and voice had been erased. It just broke my heart.”

Spotify have since responded via a statement from their Global Head of Artist and Label Marketing, Marian Dicus, who said: “We were very disappointed to hear about Martina’s experience on the platform. We agree that it’s unacceptable and we’re working to address it. As an industry, we recognise we have a lot of work to do to ensure gender parity and Spotify is working hard to drive change on our own platform and through Spotify campaigns such as Equaliser and EQL.”

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