Gendered Playlists : FAQ

What is this?

This project came about from recurring conversations about how I tend to favour female voices, while others may prefer male artists- I thought it would be a useful way to highlight gender disparity in music, or find out if your taste has latent bias.

Where do I get a Spotify playlist's URL?

  • On mobile, click on the three dots in the top right and choose Share > Copy Link
  • On the Spotify desktop application, right-click on the playlist's name or thumbnail and choose Share > Copy Playlist Link
  • On the Spotify web app, right-click on the playlist's name or thumbnail and choose Copy Playlist link

What is the average representation of females in popular music?

As can be seen on the page for last year's Spotify Top Tracks of 2021, about 23% of performers in the 2021 top list were female (or a group consisting of at least one female).
According to research by USC Annenberg's Inclusion Initiative on similar data:
2019 featured a significantly higher percentage of female artists (22.5%) than did 2018 (17.1%) or 2017 (16.8%). While the charts have rebounded in the short term, 2019 was still lower than 2016 and not meaningfully different from 2012.

Where does the gender or group classification for an artist come from?

The classification is determined based on Musicbrainz data; Musicbrainz is a public, user-curated database, and is therefore not exhaustive or necessarily accurate.

Why can't I see all the artists of a playlist?

Gendered Playlists only retrieves the 100 first artists of a playlist, regardless of how large it is.

Why is the gender or group classification for an artist inaccurate?

The gender data, and whether an artist is an individual or a group, is determined based on Musicbrainz data; Musicbrainz is a public, user-curated database, and is therefore not exhaustive or necessarily accurate.
It's also sometimes difficult to easily fetch or calculate the correct gender for an artist, such as:
  • If multiple artists share the same name
  • If the artist is a band that has changed its lineup over time or disbanded
  • If multiple artists are featured on a song (in this case, the first artist is selected)

Why is the gender or group classification for an artist missing?

The gender data, and whether an artist is an individual or a group, is automatically retrieved from the Musicbrainz database. Musicbrainz is a public, user-curated database, and is therefore not exhaustive. It's common for a less well-known artist to have missing information if nobody has had the inclination or time to add it.

What can I do to correct the classification of an artist?

A feature is in the works to flag an artist as having inaccurate data and/or correcting it on the playlist page. In the meantime, message the incorrect data to @gendered_pl on twitter and I'll look into it!

How about other under-represented groups, or similar reports on songwriters or music producers?

There is no data available in Musicbrainz on the ethnicity, neuro-diversity, etc. of an artist, and the existing Musicbrainz data on music industry actors other than performers is extremely sparse. If another queryable source of data exists, please let me know!