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The Country Music Association has announced three new hires as the profile and popularity of modern country music continues to grow worldwide
By Anna Grace on 09 Jan 2019
Three new members of staff join the Nashville-based Country Music Association (CMA) this January. Emily Arvanitis takes on the role of live events coordinator, whereas Michelle Kirk and Megan Sykes join the strategic partnerships department, as director of integrated marketing and director of sales development and strategy, respectively.
Both Arvanitis and Kirk have worked at CMA previously in different roles. Arvanitis rejoins from management company Sandbox Entertainment (Midland, Faith Hill, Kacey Musgraves) and Kirk moves following a stint as brand partnership agent at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (WME). Sykes also joins from an agency role, with Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
The two roles within CMA’s strategic partnerships department are newly created, as the company continues to focus on developing strategic marketing efforts. Established in 1958, CMA is the first trade association to promote a single genre of music, stating it is “dedicated to bringing the poetry and emotion of country music to the world”.
Country music has enjoyed a global revitalisation over the past few years, with artists such as Grammy Award-winning Musgraves bringing the genre to younger, international audiences. Spotify statistics show that country music streaming has seen a 21% increase outside of the United States since 2015, a figure that is expected to grow in coming years.
“CMA is dedicated to bringing the poetry and emotion of country music to the world”
Users in anglophone countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand are most likely to listen to country tunes, with a large following also presenting itself among Scandinavian listeners.
The resurgence of the genre is reflected in the popularity of live country music events. In 2013, AEG Europe and SJM Concerts worked with CMA to create London-based Country to Country (C2C) music festival. Since its inauguration, C2C has expanded to become Europe’s biggest country music festival. Last year, C2C played host to more than 80,000 country music lovers over three days in London, Dublin and Glasgow.
In response to demand among Australasian listeners, CMA has recently announced an international artist-focused touring series, Introducing Nashville. The tour launches in March in Australia and New Zealand, featuring artists Brandy Clark, Devin Dawson, Lindsay Ell and Tenille Towers. An industry event in Japan concludes the tour.
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