Country Award Show Viewers Are Dwindling, Here's How To Fix It
CMT, CMA, ACM...no matter which Country music award show it is, your ratings are suffering, and it's NOT just an effect of TV viewership down across the board. It's not just an effect of ALL award show ratings going down, and it has nothing to do with COVID-19; your presentations just suck.
I'm a realist so I do understand it's the big names ya'll continue to push on mainstream radio for the "don't know any better" dedicated listeners living in a box, that bring in a lot of the viewership (Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Maren Morris, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, etc.,) so I know names like that aren't going anywhere, but what you're missing and losing out on are the REAL country music artists, some independent, with strong, dedicated fanbases.
Throwing in artists like Tyler Childers, Cody Jinks, Whiskey Myers, Riley Green, Koe Wetzel, Cody Johnson or Zach Bryan will NOT hurt the audience you are already going to have with the same old mainstream country acts you give us every year, all it will do is boost the viewership of fans from those artists, who otherwise, wouldn't have tuned into the show at all.
I'm not even some crazed fan who thinks Country should only sound one way. I mean, hell, pop country in the early 2010's was actually pretty damn good.
But let's just say y'all continue not to listen to us and go in the same direction, at least give us more diversity. Where's Jake Owen? A guy with a lot of number 1's on mainstream radio. Where's Justin Moore? Kip Moore? Billy Currington? Dustin Lynch? HARDY? Parker McCollum? Cody Johnson? Tyler Farr? My point is there's also artists on mainstream radio, some with multiple number 1 singles, that barely make the cut to perform.
Stop with the Beyonce or Nick Jonas collaborations, it doesn't seem to work all that much. Throw in Flatland Cavalry, Kolby Cooper, Muscadine Bloodline, Randall King, and another dozen real country artists these award shows have probably never even heard of. I PROMISE it will only boost viewership from those fans who would never tune in just to hear Dan + Shay sing a pop song.
Another word of advice, keep the 90's and throwback medleys comin'. Don't forget to throw in forgotten artists like Gretchen Wilson, Jo Dee Messina, Lonestar, Travis Tritt, hell, have David Lee Murphy begin the show by singin' "Dust On The Bottle." Bring out Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow to perform their still very relevant hit single, "Picture," followed by half of "Strawberry Wine" by Deana Carter and ending with "Straight Tequila Night" by John Anderson. Fuck, bring out Sammy Kershaw to tell all the women they don't know they're beautiful and then have LeAnn Rimes sing "Blue" while doing cartwheels across the stage in a straight jacket. For the love of God, just change it up. Clay Walker? Faith Hill? Diamond Rio? Wynonna? Have Shania Twain and Billy Currington team up for a performance of "Party For Two." Wait a minute, HAVE RHETT AKINS PERFORM "THAT AIN'T MY TRUCK." Bring his fuckin' son out, Thomas, if you must.
The point is, there's a lot you could do to fix this. Nostalgia and bringing in more viewers from a different scene, especially the Texas scene, will 100% work.
This may sound like a rant full of random advice from a guy who's six whiskey's in, but it is just that. A random rant from a guy who is 6 whiskey's in. But I'm not wrong. You know it, I know it, they ought to know it.
Oh, and bring back Morgan Wallen now. It’s time