Teams Behind Tim McGraw, Thomas Rhett, CMA To Discuss International Strategy During Music Biz 2017 Conference

The Music Biz Association will present discussions surrounding the international success and impact of the Country Music Association’s “Forever Country,” and Tim McGraw‘s “Humble and Kind,” as well as the strategy behind breaking artist Thomas Rhett on an international level, in a series of case studies titled “Country Music’s Gone Global.” The discussions will be held Wednesday, May 17 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. as part of the Music Biz 2017 convention at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

At 11 a.m., CMA and UMG Nashville will explore the multi-artist, multi-label country single “Forever Country,” and its accompanying video which commemorated the CMA Awards’ 50th broadcast. This session and case study takes a deeper look at Forever Country and the impact on overall International audiences and adoption of country music globally prior to, during, and since release with research from the CMA and Universal Music Group Nashville.

Those taking part in the session include Annie Ortmeier, Sr. Director of Streaming & Digital Marketing, Universal Music Group Nashville; Karen Stump, Sr., Director of Consumer Insights, Country Music Association (CMA); and Damon Whiteside, Chief Marketing Officer, Country Music Association (CMA).

At 11:40 a.m., a session will focus on the marketing campaign behind Tim McGraw’s “Humble and Kind,” which became a No. 1, platinum-selling single that would go on to inspire a New York Times Best Seller book.  McGraw’s management company, EM.Co, partnered with Facebook to premiere the song’s accompanying music video, and launched a social media campaign that brought in millions of views and spurred a movement for fans to create original content and complete random acts of kindness. During the Academy of Country Music Awards, McGraw welcomed 130 people from across the globe to join him for a performance of “Humble and Kind” on the ACM Awards stage.

Those taking part in the session include Brian Kaplan, VP of Marketing and Digital, EM.Co, and James Stewart, Sr. Director of Marketing, EM.Co.

At 12:15 p.m., a session will focus on the strategy, opportunities, and challenges surrounding taking Big Machine Label Group artist Thomas Rhett’s stateside success, including his six-week No. 1 single “Die A Happy Man,” into international territory. He has had headlining shows in Belgium, Canada, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Scotland. On the verge of a third album and a 2017 world tour, this timely discussion will give a current perspective on the challenges and opportunities of going global, as well as an inside look at the components necessary to do so, and much more.

The session will be moderated by Billboard columnist Phyllis Stark, and will include Jimmy Chapin, International Director, Big Machine Label Group; Virginia Davis, Founder and Managing Partner, G Major Management; Anna-Sophie Mertens, Promoter, Live Nation UK; and Akiko Rogers, Agent, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME).

Day passes for Wednesday, May 17, are also available for $199. These passes will allow buyers to access all Music Biz 2017 programming on May 17 only, including the CMA-sponsored Awards Breakfast & Presentations (featuring awards presentations to UMG Nashville’s Mike Dungan and Music Millennium’s Terry Currier and a live performance by Little Big Town) and Country Music’s Gone Global. To purchase the May 17 day pass, visit and use code COUNTRYDAY to reveal the ticket.

Music Biz 2017 will be held May 15-18 at Renaissance Nashville Hotel.


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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