In a year that included a backlash to the Recording Academy for saying women need to “step up,” women’s representation and equality have become prominent issues at the forefront of pop culture discussion. Now, in honor of International Women’s Day this Thursday, Spotify has created a tool to help alleviate some of that under-representation and foreground women in music.
According to Spotify “Music Intelligence” representative Tim Ganss in the video above, in 2017 all ten of the top ten most-streamed tracks on Spotify were performed by male artists. Of course, 2017 was also an explosive year for women in music, with SZA’s debut, Cardi B’s coming-out party, Kesha’s triumphant return, and more, so this development seemed off to the good folks at Spotify.
To address the disparity, Spotify partnered with Smirnoff to create the Equalizer, which analyzes users’ listening behaviors, then shows the user the ratio of male and female artists in their listening history. That ratio can then be adjusted and used to create a personalized playlist that will balance their listening experience.
The idea, of course, is that just as many women are making music worth hearing as men, but that the industry doesn’t necessarily do a great job of reflecting or promoting that fact. With the equalizer tool, Spotify hopes to highlight the women who are creating great music but who may be getting overlooked thanks to marketing practices or listening habits that don’t align with the goal of musical equality. It’s worth checking out here, even if only to do a little music discovery of your own.