Post Type:post CMT Music Awards | Viamedia

I won’t say the modern-day Country Music scene has passed me by, but my tastes in Country are rooted in the old rhythms of Rockabilly and plain ol’ Country Rock (anyone remember the Byrds?)

But maybe that’s the beauty of Country Music and why it has spread far beyond its Southern Appalachian roots to encompass millions of diverse fans – not just in the United States – but around the entire globe. Over the generations, the genre has evolved in so many directions. To take just a sampling of Wikipedia entries —  there’s Fiddlin’ John Carson (of the “Atlanta Music” scene); Bob Wills (“Western Swing”); Johnny Barfield (“Hillbilly Boogie”); Earl Scruggs (“Bluegrass”); Hank Williams (“Honky Tonk”); Patsy Cline (“The Nashville Sound”); Buck Owens (“The Bakersfield Sound”); and, Willie Nelson “Outlaw Country.” And of course, today, there’s Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift — two of Country’s biggest stars who have crossed-over into “Country Pop.”

In short, Country has something for everyone, which is why the CMT Music Awards are so popular — a fan-centric annual event hosted by the Country Music Television cable network. Every year – for the past 14 years — fans of Country Music get to vote on their favorite videos and songs, and although there has been a fall-off in Live ratings and shares, the annual event is still a very strong performer for the CMT Cable Network, achieving the 5th largest cable rating during last year’s event:


The decline in overall Live TV viewing is well documented (due to the rapid growth of digital video), especially amongst a younger audience (which is a key component of the CMT Music Awards.) But there’s another significant factor at play here as well, and that is the dramatic rise in DVR usage. In the chart below, you can see that the Live+ 15-day DVR playback rating (1.88) adds 50%+ viewing to the Live-only rating of 1.24:


Geographic Skew

While Country Music fans can be found just about anywhere, the CMT Awards still attracts the strongest following in the southeast across several markets in which Viamedia has a strong presence. Out of the Top 20 highest rated DMAs for the 2015 CMT Music Awards, 17 are located in the south, with 12 of them being Viamedia markets:


Local Cable Advertising

Over the past two annual CMT Music Awards (2014 & 2015), 60 local cable advertisers have ordered 170+ 30-second spots across 20 Viamedia markets. That comes to an average of almost three spots per Viamedia client. Of some note is the diversity in local advertising categories for the CMT Awards. Usually, high profile events attract such a large share of automotive advertising that very few other categories accrue significant shares. But not the CMT Awards in which we find four other categories (Entertainment & Travel, Furniture & Floor Coverings, Retail & Department Stores and Restaurants) with at least an 8% share of the total advertising pie:


The Hottest Ticket in Town

CMT recently announced its nominations for the 2016 Music Awards, which will air on June 8th. Fan voting for the nominees began May 9th and will run until two days before the big event. Fans of all ages will have a lot to think about as the biggest names in Country Music are up for several categories, including thrice-nominated Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton and Cam (as in Camaron Marvel Ochs – not the Super Bowl Quarterback, “Cam Newton”.) In all, there are seven categories and dozens of solo artist and group nominations, and while there are no sure bets, there’s one thing for certain: the 15th CMT Music Awards will be the hottest ticket in Nashville.

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Written by Jonathan Sims, VP Media Research, Viamedia