CMA Breaks New Ground in Social Media Scott Frans August 26, 2013 NASHVILLE – Thousands of fans made “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” one of the week’s highest rated programs with their avid social media use. The special, which aired Monday, Aug. 12 on ABC, garnered 8.3 million viewers. It was the fifth most-watched program during the week in viewers, and was 12th most-watched in the Adults 18 – 49 demographic. Social media was a driving force during the three-hour concert special, with fans using platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and SMS messaging to interact in advance of and during the broadcast. Social initiatives included a tweet-along, text-to-win promotions and the first-ever broadcast network, primetime Instagram integration. “Social media is an integral part of the viewing experience now,” said Robert Deaton, the special’s Executive Producer. “We are always looking for new, innovative ways for our audience to interact with the show. This Instagram integration, being the first of its kind, added a new level of fan involvement, which is very fitting as the spirit of the Festival is about fans getting closer to their favorite artists.” Fans submitted more than 67,000 #CMAfest Instagram photos, either from their experiences at the event in June or while watching the special at home with family and friends. CMA partnered with Mass Relevance and ABC network engineers to select photos which were aired live on-air, in real time, breaking new ground in social interaction. Twitter participation grew 67 percent over 2012, with CMA’s Twitter nation topping 273,155, growing CMA’s digital audience to nearly 2 million followers. Artists who appeared in the special also got in on the action, Tweeting and sharing photos along with fans. Reigning CMA Vocal Group of the year and hosts of “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” Little Big Town shared a photo on Instagram of their at-home viewing party with Deaton and their manager Jason Owen. The group also answered fan questions throughout the special through their official Twitter feed. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum tweeted, “So crazy to be watching myself 8 months pregnant on #cmafest…and be watching my peaceful sleeping daughter at the same time! #blessed,” whileBrian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line took a moment to complement fellow Festival performerDierks Bentley, tweeting “@DierksBentley rockin’ that steel panther t[ee] on the CMA special. Ha. Love it!” The 2014 CMA Music Festival will take place June 5-8 in Nashville and will again be filmed for a concert special on ABC. Tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com. For more information, please visit CMAfest.com.