Morgan Wallen axed from streaming playlists after racial slur

Country star Morgan Wallen had been all over radio and streaming playlists alike in the early weeks of 2021, with his ‘Dangerous: The Double Album’ topping the US charts. However, this week a video emerged of Wallen using a racial slur, and broadcasters and streaming services have been quick to react by pulling his music […]

Spotify signs podcast development deal with Scooter Braun

Scooter Braun is a man with his finger in many pies, and now he’s added podcasts to his pastry portfolio. In fact, his Ithaca Holdings company has signed a podcast development deal with Spotify (described as a ‘first look’ agreement by Variety, which means Spotify will get first dibs on new shows from Ithaca Holdings). The […]

Apple Music Radio adds live country and hits stations

Spotify’s ‘audio first’ strategy involves an aggressive move into spoken-word content with podcasts (and soon audiobooks?) to compete with live radio. Apple Music has followed a different path, with the Beats 1 live radio station part of its service since launch. Yesterday it got a rebrand – to Apple Music 1 – and two new sister stations: Apple […]

Tim McGraw to host an ‘all-live album premiere’ livestream

The longer this lockdown goes on, the more artists are finding different ways to experiment with the format of livestreams – and also to charge for them. Country star Tim McGraw is the latest example. He’s going to be holding a “unique all-live album premiere” event on 22 August, broadcasting from Nashville to tie in with […]

Study suggests country radio listeners DO want more women

Country radio stations in the US have been criticised strongly in recent times for their male-dominated playlists. A study published earlier this month by SongData’s Jada Watson showed why: women accounted for just 10% of daily spins and slots in Billboard’s year-end country airplay chart. But now a separate study commissioned by country media brand CMT suggests […]

Martina McBride criticises Spotify again over playlist algorithm (and Spotify agrees)

Earlier this month, we reported on country star Martina McBride’s anger at Spotify’s recommendation algorithm, after its first 135 suggestions of tracks for a ‘country music’ playlist she was making were all by men. Spotify’s head of artist and label marketing in Nashville, Brittany Schaffer, seemed to have smoothed over the waters with a coffee […]

Taylor Swift joins list of artists failing to beat ‘Old Town Road’

There’s a slightly woe-is-me feel to Vanity Fair’s ‘If Taylor Swift Can’t Have a No. 1 Pop Hit in 2019, Can Anyone?’ headline. The correct answer being ‘Yes, Lil Nas X has been having a giant No. 1 pop hit in 2019’. But the article’s point is that Swift is just the latest big pop […]

Gimme Radio launches its second music service: Gimme Country

Since its launch in 2017, we’ve known Gimme Radio as a metal brand: an app for streaming a round-the-clock radio station playing metal, with an array of DJs. By late January 2019 it had nearly 130,000 registered users, but was also making it clear that it had plans for other genres: starting with country, with dance, hip-hop, […]

YouTube makes an artist spotlight story for Maren Morris

Country star Maren Morris is the latest artist to get an ‘Artist Spotlight Story’ from YouTube. It debuted on 10 May: a 15-minute mini-documentary that tracks Morris’ journey from “from her early days singing in honky-tonks, to becoming a songwriter in Nashville, to climbing the charts and breaking new ground in country music as a Grammy-winning performing […]

Is Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’ track country or not?

“Yeah, I’m gonna take my horse to the old town road. I’m gonna ride ’til I can’t no more…” If you just read the lyrics, you might well think that ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X was a country track, even if the couplet “My life is a movie, bull ridin’ and boobies” makes […]

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