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It’s difficult to understand this complaint

Summary:
We can’t help but think this is rather misunderstanding how business works:The music industry continues to marginalise women, according to the latest instalment of a landmark US survey on representation in pop. In 2020, women were outnumbered on the US Billboard charts by men at a ratio of 3.9 to 1, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s annual study of the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart.Women including Dua Lipa, Maren Morris, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion made up 20.2% of the 173 artists that appeared on the chart in 2020, dropping from 22.5% in 2019 – and a high of 28.1% in 2016.“It is International Women’s Day everywhere, except for women in music, where women’s voices remain muted,” said Dr Stacy L Smith, who led the survey.Yes, and? The more open and competitive a

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We can’t help but think this is rather misunderstanding how business works:

The music industry continues to marginalise women, according to the latest instalment of a landmark US survey on representation in pop.

In 2020, women were outnumbered on the US Billboard charts by men at a ratio of 3.9 to 1, according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative’s annual study of the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart.

Women including Dua Lipa, Maren Morris, Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion made up 20.2% of the 173 artists that appeared on the chart in 2020, dropping from 22.5% in 2019 – and a high of 28.1% in 2016.

“It is International Women’s Day everywhere, except for women in music, where women’s voices remain muted,” said Dr Stacy L Smith, who led the survey.

Yes, and?

The more open and competitive a market the more it will not just reflect but be the straight outcome of consumer choices. What gets into the Billboard 100 is, by definition, what consumers decide to consume. There is indeed a vast industry involved in trying to persuade said consumers but even a random reading of the charts shows that PR comes a very distant second to those fickle choices of the people actually paying for the goods. The music business, that is, is one of the most open and competitive markets in the world- viciously open and competitive even.

That consumer choice seems to be a little biased by gender is not something that needs to be cured, it’s something that is perhaps but then the economic outcome is supposed to be emergent from individual choices.

It’s also terribly difficult to work out what should or even might be done about this if something were to be done. Are we supposed to dissolve the audience and elect another?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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