Has Country Music Finally Gone Digital?

We are DEFINITELY getting there… well the fans anyway. Let me explain.

As fans continue to demand what they want when they want all of the music industry has struggled to keep up.  Some genres like Pop and Rock tend to have a younger demographic so those fans have been quicker to adopt and more demanding than the older, not-as-tech-savvy Country Music fans.  BUT…

Country Music fans are getting younger and more technologically advanced in their increasingly complicated and busy lives.

How do you know that Ben?  Well, after looking at all the data from the largest Country Music festival in the world (CMA Music Festival, held every June in Nashville) the results are very promising!

Without getting into specifics, CMA members can email me for those, the digital marketing effort put forth by CMA for the event was a huge success and the fans really responded to it.  Here are the highlights:

Web traffic was UP 26.5%

The CMA email database jumped almost 50%
(Versus same period Jan-Jun 2009. Note graph shows year-end totals.)

The CMA social network audience jumped 141%
(Versus same period Jan-Jun 2009.)

Plus, this year CMA added some digital bells and whistles to the mix.  For the first-time ever fans could create their own customized schedule either online at CMAfest.com or using the CMA Music Festival iPhone app.  And the fans responded to it with more than 11% of the attendees using the online version and 7% of the attendees using the iPhone app.

Well what about mobile marketing? Does CMA have a plan to communicate with fans via SMS/text?

Well, of course.  In fact the CMA mobile database (which started in April 2009) almost doubled during this year’s event.  The fans were really hungry for and amenable to the text messages (approx. 10/day during the event) as long as that content had valuable information like the Fan Fair Hall schedule or a chance to win prizes like Taylor Swift meet & greets or Gold Circle ticket upgrades.

All in all I’d say Country Music fans are on track and beginning to adopt new technology more quickly and easily than in year’s past and MUCH MORE QUICKLY AND EASILY than most stereotypes would allow.

One more fun fact before I go.  The Top 5 Most Clicked Artists on the CMAfest.com website were: Alan Jackson, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Lady A, and Zac Brown Band.

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