If you're a regular listener to Irish radio, you may already have guessed at the findings in a new report that has just been published - but the actual results will come as quite a shock, nevertheless.
PR company founder Linda Coogan-Byrne analysed the Top 20 most-played songs on every Irish radio station from June 2019 - June 2020, and with a few exceptions found that it was heavily dominated by male artists.
Dermot Kennedy's 'Outnumbered', Niall Horan's 'Nice to Meet Ya' and acts like Hozier, The Academic and Gavin James featured heavily across the board - but in many cases, female acts did not feature anywhere on stations' Top 20 playlists. When they did feature, they accounted for a very small percentage of plays.
One notable exception was RTE Radio 1, which was balanced at 50% male/female, while several regional stations, like Midwest Radio, fared somewhat better. However, on the likes of FM104 there was no clear gender balance in the Top 20 across the 12-month period.
I’d like to take the time to congratulate @RTERadio1 on being the only station that has reached #GenderBalance across their station. If they can do it EVERYBODY else can in Irish Radio. pic.twitter.com/YIEjbsFIue
— Linda J Coogan Byrne (@lindacooganb) June 24, 2020
Several female artists and those working in the industry also add their thoughts, including Ruth-Anne, who pointed out: "I am a Grammy nominated singer songwriter. I have amassed over 30 million streams since 2018 of releasing as an artist. I have had my song ‘The Vow’ synced on the finale of ‘Love Island’ as well as synced on ‘Greys Anatomy’ and Netflix hit series ‘Raising Dion’ which pushed the song into the Top 5 globally Shazammed song last year. I have yet to have any of my singles playlisted on Irish radio."
The report makes for illuminating reading and can be read in full here.