Amazon Obtains Rights to Country Music Awards in Streaming First
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. acquired the rights to the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards, saying it will mark the first time a major awards show has been live streamed exclusively.
The show is produced each year by Dick Clark Productions, part of the MRC media group, whose interests include the Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and the film company A24. A date and location for the show will be announced later, Amazon and the academy said Thursday.
Amazon’s music service has long relied on country fans to fuel growth. The company previously won the exclusive streaming rights to Garth Brooks and built up an operation in Nashville, Tennessee.
Live TV programs, including sports, had been among the most-predictable draws on TV, at least until the coronavirus upended program and game scheduling. The audience for a revamped Oscars in April fell by more than half from the previous year. The just-concluded Olympics lost 42% of its viewers from the games in 2016.
Streaming services offer a younger audience, a draw for advertisers, though they have less experience handling live events.
Sports and awards shows give Amazon an opportunity to boost its advertising revenue, a top priority for the company. The Seattle-based company has built the third-largest online advertising business in the U.S. over the last few years, and now commands more than 10% of the market, EMarketer said in April.
CBS previously aired the ACM Awards, but said in June it would carry the competing CMT Music Awards in April 2022. This year’s ACM Awards on that network drew a record low 6.3 million viewers. Variety reported in July that CBS’s talks to keep the show broke down after Dick Clark sought $22 million a year for the rights.
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