"CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL: COUNTRY'S NIGHT TO ROCK" BREAKS NEW GROUND IN SOCIAL MEDIA INTERACTION
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, August 12 on ABC, garnered 8.3 million viewers. It was the fifth most-watched program during the week in viewers, and was the 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.
"Our social media audience was absolutely engaged online throughout the special," said Ben Bennett, CMA Director of Digital Strategy. "It really stems back to the Country Music audience being tech savvy and passionate about these artists. We're glad to give another platform for them to connect with artists and each other."
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," while Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line took a moment to compliment fellow Festival performer Dierks 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.
About CMA: Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association 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 7,000 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 annually recognize 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 for broadcast during the holiday season. All of CMA's television properties will air on the ABC Television network through 2021.
About ABC Entertainment Group: Formed in 2009, the ABC Entertainment Group, comprised of ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios, develops and produces compelling programming across all day parts for both national and international broadcast and digital platforms, as well as for national syndication. ABC Studios' current hits include "Army Wives" (Lifetime), "Castle," "Cougar Town" (TBS), "Criminal Minds" (CBS), "Grey's Anatomy," "Nashville," "Once Upon a Time," "Perception" (TNT), "Revenge" and "Scandal." The ABC Television Network is also home to the Emmy-winning "Modern Family" and comedy favorite "The Middle"; reality phenomenon "Shark Tank" and long-running hit "Dancing with the Stars"; "General Hospital," which just celebrated its 50th anniversary on the network, along with daytime talk shows "The View," "Katie" and "The Chew"; and Jimmy Kimmel Live, which successfully launched its new 11:35 p.m. time period earlier this year. The network also boasts some of television's most prestigious awards shows, including The Academy Awards(R), the Country Music Awards, The American Music Awards and The Billboard Music Awards.
About Mass Relevance: Based in Austin, Texas, Mass Relevance helps brands, media and agencies get more from their social media efforts by building social experiences into their marketing strategy. More than 300 major brands, sports teams, publishers and broadcasters trust the Mass Relevance SaaS platform to create real-time consumer engagement by aggregating, filtering, and re-displaying content from any social network to any digital property. In the past two and a half years, Mass Relevance has delivered more than 30 billion pieces of social content to multiple digital surfaces for world-class brands such as Pepsi, Campbell's, GE, Target, Walgreens and Microsoft. Mass Relevance has also supported iconic events like the Super Bowl and Academy Awards, launches such as The Avengers and Madonna MDNA, and television phenoms "American Idol", "X-Factor", "80 Plates" and "The Voice." The company is privately held with venture capital funding. For more information, please visit the company's website at massrelevance.com.