A new study has found several inequities in the music played on Canadian radio, specifically with how much airtime women, BIPOC and trans artists receive.

The study “Share the Air” was led by University of Ottawa professor Jada Watson through her research network SongData.

The study aimed to capture how women, transgender and BIPOC artists are represented on Canadian radio and to what degree these inequities are between different groups.

The study found that Canadian women and transgender artists, in particular, are underrepresented.

Both groups are also “disadvantaged within the industry ecosystem through a practice that prioritizes songs by (predominantly white) men within each format’s efforts to comply with federal regulations.”

Researchers studied music from 13,926 artists across six Canadian radio formats including country, alternative rock, active rock, Top 40, mainstream adult contemporary and hot adult contemporary.

For the last two categories, the researchers also examined their French counterparts.

Researchers collected data on how much airtime songs received as well as what time of day they were played and the rate the songs retained through recurrent programming.

The top 150 most played songs were analyzed between 2013 and 2023 through yearend reports with weekly reports also being examined.

When looking at year end results, the study found women made up eight per cent of country, alternative rock and active rock songs while women of colour only made up 0.7 per cent.

Top 40, mainstream adult contemporary and hot adult contemporary did feature more diversity with songs by women accounting for 30 per cent.

However, these were primarily songs by white women with women of colour accounting for 6.5 per cent.

The study also noted how Canadian women, transgender and artists of colour are not prioritized over international artists, resulting in less recurring programming.

Researchers said they hoped the study will help with “calling in members of the industry community to acknowledge inequity in radio programming and encourage meaningful conversation about developing ethical and just practices so that women and transgender artists can build sustainable careers in Canada.”