Why is Reggae music ignored by mainstream radio?

4093 why is reggae music ignored by mainstream radio

Reggae music, a genre born in Jamaica in the 1960s, has had a significant impact on music worldwide. However, despite its influence, mainstream radio has often ignored the genre, leaving many fans wondering why.

One reason for the lack of airplay is the business side of the music industry. Radio stations are businesses, and their primary goal is to attract advertisers and generate revenue. To do this, they aim to cater to the largest possible audience. This often means playing the most popular and commercially successful music, which may not include reggae.

Another reason is the cultural divide. Reggae music has its roots in Jamaica, and the themes and lyrics often reflect the social and political issues of the country. Many people outside of Jamaica may not be familiar with or interested in these topics, making reggae less appealing to them.

Additionally, reggae music is not as commercially driven as other genres, such as pop and hip hop. Reggae artists often prioritize their message over making hit songs, which may not resonate with mainstream radio and their audience.

Finally, there may be a perception that reggae music is outdated or not as relevant to modern audiences. This view is misguided, as reggae continues to inspire and influence new artists, but it may be contributing to its lack of airplay on mainstream radio.

In conclusion, there are multiple reasons why reggae music is ignored by mainstream radio. These include the business side of the music industry, cultural divide, a lack of commercial appeal, and outdated perceptions of the genre. Despite these challenges, reggae remains a beloved genre for many fans worldwide, and its impact on music cannot be denied.


  • Stolzoff, N. (2000). Wake the Town and Tell the People: Dancehall Culture in Jamaica. Duke University Press.
  • Barrow, S., & Dalton, P. (2004). The Rough Guide to Reggae. Rough Guides.