Stock Music Libraries: Women
At certain stock music sites or libraries, specifically PremiumBeat, Soundstripe, Music Vine, Amazing Music Tracks, and Pyramid Tracks, it appears female artists or composers account for no more than 6% of the artists listed. Among media composers, female stock music composers have usually been the most underrepresented. Some organizations, however, have started implementing initiatives and measures to achieve gender parity in the stock music production industry.
Share of Female Artists at Stock Music Sites
- The average percentage of artists or composers accounted for by female artists across stock music sites or libraries could not be located in the public domain, but some stock music sites, particularly those whose tracks or music can be filtered by artist, offer a few clues. While most stock music sites only allow users to filter tracks by mood or genre, a few stock music sites, including PremiumBeat, Soundstripe, Music Vine, Amazing Music Tracks, and Pyramid Tracks, provide an artist directory, list their artist profiles, or allow users to filter tracks by artist.
- The exact share of female artists on these sites could not be reliably ascertained for two reasons. First, the artists could not be filtered by gender. Second, some artists use profile names or photos that are not indicative of their gender.
- Nevertheless, it is apparent from the artist names and profile pictures that the artists on these sites are mostly male.
- As of today, PremiumBeat has 436 artists in its stock music library, but only 10 or around 2.3% of the artist profiles are clearly female.
- Soundstripe has 360 artists in its stock music library. Of the profile photos listed, only 11 or around 3% are clearly photos of solo female artists.
- Music Vine has 317 artists in its stock music library. Of the profile photos listed, only 6 or around 1.9% are clearly photos of solo female artists.
- Amazing Music Tracks has 92 artists in its stock music library. Of the artist names listed, only 5 or around 5.4% are clearly female names.
- Pyramid Tracks has 50 artists in its stock music library. Of the profile photos listed, only 3 or around 6% are clearly photos of solo female artists.
Underrepresentation of Female Stock Music Composers and Female Music Producers
- There are some indications that female composers are very much underrepresented in the stock music industry.
- An article published in 2019 by Ms. Magazine, a feminist magazine, shows that female stock music composers have historically been "the most underrepresented among media composers."
- Andreea Magdalina, the founder of She Said So, said, "studies show the percentage of women working in the music studio is extremely low."
- Dina Liberg from Universal Production Music also said that "it's no secret there's a lack of female composers within the industry."
- According to PRS for Music, a music rights organization, women accounted for only 3% of the music producers who were credited on music tracks by artists in the United Kingdom.
Measures to Address the Underrepresentation of Female Stock Music Composers
- Based on the article published by Ms. Magazine, it appears that some people have started taking steps to address the underrepresentation of female composers in the stock music production industry.
- The team at music production company Mpath, for example, has pledged to build a company where female artists compose no less than 50% of its tracks. In late 2019, women already accounted for a third of the company's stock music composers.
- According to Mirrette Seireg, the company's founder, "there is no shortage of extremely talented female composers." The question is how to "bring them into the fold."
- To achieve its goal of gender parity in the stock music production industry, Mpath produced Phenomenal Women, an album series that showcases brilliant female stock music composers. It also teamed up with APM Music, North America's biggest production music library, to produce eight to nine albums of this kind each year.
- Mpath's other women-focused initiatives include a live music salon, a panel discussion, and a mentorship program.
- Seireg said, "People are shocked to learn that a mere 3% of music composers in media are female and this figure could even be lower in production music." She added, "Raising this percentage is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do because it's been demonstrated time and again that when women achieve equal status, everyone prospers."
- Apart from Mpath, other organizations such as the Production Music Association, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, the Spotify EQL Residency Program, She Is The Music, and Women's Audio Mission have also started working to increase female representation in the music production industry. The Inclusion Committee that the Production Music Association has formed is chaired by Seireg.
Signs of Improving Female Representation
- There are signs that things are getting better for female music composers or producers.
- The Music Producers Guild (MPG), for example, recently reported that its number of female members has increased from 6% in 2018 to 13% in 2021. It also reported that it now has a majority-female board.
- Aubrey Whitfield, a commercial pop producer and a member of the Music Producers Guild, also said that things have definitely changed for the better. She said, "It's normal now to see women behind the desk compared to when I started."
- According to Suzy Shinn, a recording engineer, producer, and songwriter who was nominated twice for a Grammy award, female representation is slowly improving.
- There was a time when she would go into a session as a recording engineer and she would be mistaken as someone to fetch coffee instead. Now, it is no longer uncommon for her to meet other female recording engineers or music producers.
Women in Music Production
- A study published by USC Annenberg and Spotify in March 2021 shows that the ratio of male music producers to female music producers was 38 to 1 across 600 recently popular songs.
- Of music producers, 97.4% were accounted for by men, and only 2.6% were accounted for by women.
- In 2020, the breakdown was 98% men and 2% women.
- In 2019, the breakdown was 95% men and 5% women.
- During the period 2013-2020, 97.9% of nominees for the Producer of the Year at the Grammys were men. Only 2.1% of the nominees were women.