‘CMT Artists of the Year’ Sees Growth Among Younger Viewers

Following the live airing of the music special CMT Artists of the Year on Oct. 16, the show saw a 108% year-over-year growth among younger viewers, age 18-34 (live + same day).

Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Thomas Rhett were honored as 2019’s CMT Artists of the Year, while Ashley McBryde was celebrated as Breakout Artist of the Year and Reba McEntire feted as Artist of a Lifetime.

Certain songs featured during the 90-minute special saw an uptick in sales and streaming. Chris Young‘s “Drowning” saw an increase of 103% in sales and a 24% uptick in streaming; Young dedicated his performance of the song that evening to Kane Brown’s drummer Kenny Dixon, who passed away in a car crash just days before the CMT Artists of the Year show aired.

McEntire’s “Is There Life Out There,” which Lady Antebellum performed during the show, saw a 50% uptick in sales following the show’s airing, and an 18% increase in streaming. McEntire’s “Fancy,” which Sam Hunt performed during the show, saw a streaming increase of 9%. McBryde performed her new single “One Night Standards,” earning a 9% increase in sales and a 14% increase in streaming. Fellow honoree Underwood saw sales of her hit “Blown Away” increase 31% and “Two Black Cadillacs” increase 15% (streams for “Cadillac” increased by 4%); Underwood performed a medley of both songs via livestream from a tour stop in Cleveland, Ohio, on her Cry Pretty Tour 360 that evening.

CMT Artists of the Year was also the No. 1 most social show on cable that evening (excluding sports and news), with year-over-year growth of 277% in social video views, as well as 301% growth in social engagements.

“We are thrilled this year’s celebration connected with our audience across all mediums and proud it generated the most social views and engagements on CMT channels in tentpole history!” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music Strategy & Talent at CMT. “It truly shows country music transcending age and screens, and how the healing power of music and resilience in our community continues to resonate with all.”


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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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