Billboard has an interesting piece on the burgeoning demand for country-music concerts outside the US, based on new data from the Country Music Association.
It claims that the number of country concerts booked internationally in 2016-17 grew by 55% – the sixth year in a row that there has been a double-digit increase in those bookings.
The reasons for the growth cited in the piece are non-digital: more country artists booking more gigs outside the US; and strong efforts by the CMA and other bodies to promote the genre through showcases and other events around the world.
We think there’s also a streaming angle here, with country artists easily accessible on services like Spotify and Apple Music, including their music finding its way onto curated playlists that are not labelled ‘country’ – thus reaching the ears of music listeners who may not be seeking the genre out.
Data on this is rather thinner on the ground: in January Nielsen said that US streaming of country music grew by 57% in 2016, but that was purely domestic consumption.