The Social and Streaming Power of Black Female Artists and Fans

To wrap up Women's History Month in the US, we highlight the Black female artists and fans helping to close the gender gap in the music industry with their social and streaming "votes."

The Social and Streaming Power of Black Female Artists and Fans
Jason Joven
Jason Joven
March 31, 20216 min read
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GIF source: Megan Thee Stallion - Body [Official Video]

Editor’s Note: As US Women's History Month draws to a close, Chartmetric continues its year of honoring Black artists in the context of what we normally do: nerd out on music, data, and culture.

Our February installment during Black History Month focused on how Black music in Detroit, Memphis, and Baltimore intertwined with a local reality laden with racism and inequality.

This month, we attempt to honor the US National Women's History Month theme for 2021: "Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to Be Silenced." While this month's theme addresses women's suffrage, from a data perspective, we can parallel the electoral vote with the music "vote." In other words, we will look at 100 artists that Black women seem to love most, examining how women fare against men in a still male-dominated industry.

Us boss chicks have to continue to stick together and change the game. - Megan Thee Stallion

Black Lives Matter.

In an effort to explore gender in the music industry in a more nuanced way, we first filtered our 2.8M+ artist database by those artists that have a majority (50 percent and higher) Black and female Instagram audience.

We then ranked the Top 100 artists by Cross-Platform Performance, Chartmetric's overall ranking system that includes several streaming and social media platform statistics.

  • Of those 100 artists, the top artist split skews slightly male: 48 women and 52 men.
  • Streaming platform presence of each gender skewed male on Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube, though there were three to five more male artists on each.
  • Social media presence of each gender skewed male on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by three to four more male artists on each. (TikTok was left out due to only 27 of the 100 artists having linked TikTok profiles in our database.)
  • 88 of the 100 artists are coded as US-based, four each from the UK and France, three from Jamaica, and one from Canada.
  • Frequent artist genre tags: Pop, Rap, R&B, Soul (including variants like Indie R&B)
  • Top 3 artists: Pop Smoke (CPP rank: 61), Megan Thee Stallion (CPP rank: 65), and Nelly (CPP rank: 229)
  • Top 100 artists included active artists (e.g., Summer Walker, Stefflon Don), semi-active artists from earlier decades (e.g., Jodeci, Babyface), and legacy acts (e.g., Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight & The Pips).

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