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CMA Releases Research on International Country Music Consumer Habits During CMA Music Festival

NASHVILLE – With attendees from every state and 25 foreign countries, CMA Music Festival provided a unique platform to release findings from a recent research study on International Country Music Consumer Habits Saturday, June 11 in Nashville.

The presentation was given by CMA Senior Director of Market Research Karen Stump.

Chairman of the CMA International Committee Rob Potts welcomed the audience of music industry professionals as well as domestic and international journalists.

“We’re really excited to be able to show our commitment to CMA’s international membership and lead the conversation about the global expansion of Country Music with this significant investment into consumer research,” Potts said. “As we see Country Music growing in a significant number of international markets, it is important for CMA and all its members to have real data on those territories to best determine how we can support this growth. It’s a great story for our music!”

Key findings discussed included the size of the international audience/markets that were part of the study and how engaged those participants are with the format and their listening habits.

On average, one-third or more of adult populations in each of the regions targeted report listening to Country Music on a regular basis. This rate is even higher in Canada at 50 percent.

U.K. and Australia offer the larger audience opportunity in terms of actual number of listeners (each market is roughly 5 million listeners).

Per market, the share of adults listening to Country Music are as follows:

  • U.K./London – 40 percent (more than 5 million residents)
  • Australia – 34 percent (more than 5 million residents)
  • Canada – 50 percent (nearly 3 million – note the study only included the following regions: Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa)

*As compared to the U.S., with 42 percent of adults who listen to Country Music regularly.
**Listening shares per market are reflective of specific cities included in the research study and may not reflect the full populations. 

Additionally, across other European markets included in the study, comparable and even stronger levels of adults listening to Country Music were reported.

Across the regions surveyed, at least half of those who listen to Country Music name it as one of their Top 3 preferred genres.

  • U.K., Canada, and Ireland had the highest levels of listeners who rank “Country” as the No. 1 favorite genre.
  • In all markets, CMA saw significant levels of “new listeners” – those who started listening in the last five years. One-quarter or more of the Country Music listening audience in each market fell into this recent listener category.
  • Canada, Australia, and the U.K. had higher than average levels of listener growth in the last 12 months compared to the other regions. The majority of this growth was driven by the younger Millennial population.

“What we saw is that while there is a high-degree of awareness of our legacy acts, there is growing interest in the format and current and emerging artists with Millennials,” Stump said.

Detailed international research findings will be made available to CMA members beginning in late June with region-focused webinars. Target dates for these webinars are as follows and CMA members will receive more information about registration in the coming weeks.

  • Tuesday, June 28 – Canada Country Music Consumer Habits
  • Tuesday, July 12 – U.K./Europe Country Music Consumer Habits
  • Tuesday, July 12 – Australia Country Music Consumer Habits

International fans at CMA Music Festival account for 10 percent of attendees. In 2015, 17 percent of international attendees were attending CMA Music Festival for the first time.

Countries represented in 2016 included: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, U.K., and Venezuela.

CMA kicked off the week with the CMA World GlobaLive! concert featuring international Country Music artists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. Since 2004, CMA has hosted 153 International acts (both on the CMA Global Artists and Aristo Global Show) during the Festival from the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.

International media attended CMA Music Festival from 12 different countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Cayman Islands, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K., including BBC Radio 2, which reaches more than 15.5 million listeners and broadcasts four CMA Music Festival specials leading up to their extensive coverage of the CMA Awards this fall.

CMA Music Festival is taped for a three-hour, primetime special that airs on the ABC Television Network. “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” will be hosted for the first time by Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett and airs Wednesday, Aug. 3 (8:00 PM/ET). The special also has an international audience. It will be broadcast in Norway on NRK and in the U.K. and Ireland on Sky Arts for the first time and again in Australia on CMC.

Advancing Country Music around the world is an important part of CMA’s strategic mission and the organization has three international Task Forces in Australia, Canada, and U.K. These groups, which are made of industry executives in each market, work closely with the CMA International Committee offering directional support and interaction between Nashville and that territory.

Tangible results of those efforts include the expansion of the CMA Songwriter Series from the U.S. to cities across Europe including Belfast, Dublin, London, and Paris; as well as CMA’s multi-year partnership with C2C (Country to Country) at The O2 reaching 50,000 international fans.

About the Country Music Association (CMA):
Founded in 1958, the CMA was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,300 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year of recognizing outstanding achievement in the industry; the CMA Music Festival, which benefits music education and is taped for a three-hour TV special; and “CMA Country Christmas,” featuring Country artists performing original music and Christmas classics. All of CMA’s television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021. For more information, visit CMAworld.com.

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