Friday, November 08, 2013

And the Winner Is… A&O&B’s Quick Online Poll of Listener and Industry 'Takes' on the 2013 CMA Awards Show

Blake, Taylor, and Florida-Georgia Line were among those who took home multiple CMA  trophies this week, but the show itself was a winner too with listeners and the industry in our quick and admittedly unscientific post-show online poll.

And, just as I blogged  in our post-ACM Awards Show poll earlier this year, listeners were more passionate as a whole in their evaluations than the industry (radio) participants who weighed in.

Overall, 41% of listeners gave the show the highest score (5 on our 1 worst to 5 best scale) compared to 28% in the industry. That’s not to say radio wasn’t positive; they rated the show an average of 4.0 vs. 4.2 for listeners. Still, 88% of listeners rated the show a 4 or 5 vs. 72% of the industry. 

There was a good-sized gap in the desire for more performances on the show too, with about 1 in 8 listeners wanting more performances vs. 0% of the industry.  Meanwhile13% of listeners and 17% of the industry wanted more awards and less music.

There was complete agreement however on Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood as hosts. The pair scored extremely well with each group. 76% of listeners gave the hosts the top score compared to 72% of the radio panel.

When asked about specific high points on the show, 64% of radio cited the Alan Jackson/George Strait Tribute to George Jones. Other top moments (in order) were the Taylor Swift “Red” performance (29%), Brad and Carrie’s hosting abilities and content (21%), the Kenny Rogers Tribute with Jennifer Nettles (21%) and the Kacey Musgraves performance (21%).

Also receiving multiple mentions were Zac Brown both for the Luke Bryan hug as well as his performance with Dave Grohl, and Little Big Town for their performance of “Sober.”

The most negatives for radio (21%) were related to winner selection.  The show also got dinged for audio issues, length, some of the presenters, and execution.

Listeners agreed with radio regarding the top highlight; the George Jones Tribute was mentioned by 33% of the respondents. Other stand-outs for listeners were the Opening Monologue (24% with 5% mentioning the "Obamacare" piece by name), Carrie and Brad as hosts (17%), George Strait’s Entertainer of the Year Award/Speech (16%), and Taylor Swift receiving the Pinnacle Award (14%).

The positive comments outnumbered the negative ones though 10% of listeners reported not liking Eric Church’s song/performance, the George Jones Tribute being too short (7%), there being too much pop/rock on the show in general (7%), audio issues (6%), and disagreement over some of the winners (6%).

Overall our industry participants reported the feedback they received from listeners about the show was 83% positive (56% “very positive”).

That appeared to be supported by the TV ratings as USA Today reported that the Awards show averaged 16.3 million viewers which was up by nearly 3 million viewers over last year.

But back to the overall scores and the passion gap between listeners and radio - and the reminder to us that in our "been there/been backstage" world it's important not lose sight of the level of passion listeners have for country music and the artists that make it, and about the excitement that can be generated by three hours of TV that puts their favorite songs and singers front and center.

Have some personal thoughts on the show or feedback from your listeners you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment!

(Thanks to A&O&B's @BeckyBrenner for the photo)

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