Sunday, November 7, 2010

Diverse fan base helps CMA in time of change

In August, Steve Moore formally took over as chief executive officer of the Country Music Association, charged with leading the genre's biggest trade organization in an era of declining music profits.
Moore is a music industry veteran who moved to Nashville more than 25 years ago to become the first executive director of Starwood Amphitheatre, the former outdoor concert venue in Antioch. He has worked as a concert promoter and booker ever since, joining AEG, the world's largest concert promotion, special events and touring company, seven years ago.

Moore joined the CMA board of directors two decades ago and became chairman of the 6,000-member group in 2009. For the time being, Moore will continue serving in a dual role as CMA's chief executive and as an AEG executive, but he expects to formally resign from AEG at year-end to join CMA full time.

Moore spoke with Tennessean music business reporter Anita Wadhwani in advance of the CMA awards later this week.

What does the audience for country music look like now, and how has that changed over past decade or more?

It has changed, and it continues to change. The good news about the country consumer is that he could be from 9 to 90 years old.

From a demographic perspective, it probably encompasses the entire spectrum of the population. From a psychographic perspective, it's fragmented and artist centric. Taylor Swift, as popular as she is, is heavily popular with a certain demographic — that is, a younger male and female group.

You've got other artists like Brad Paisley who appeal to a different sector. And so would Keith Urban and Brooks & Dunn and Carrie Underwood. The beauty of the format, if you look at our top 10 artists, they appeal to a different demographic as well as different psychographic.

That gives us more breadth of exposure and more depth to the fan base than other typical formats.

Since the genre has such a diverse fan base, what are the challenges in matching that audience with corporate sponsors? How do those conversations work?

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