CMT.COM CELEBRATES 15 YEARS ONLINE TODAY

04/16/12

Follow the Conversation on Twitter #CMT15YRS

NASHVILLE – April 16, 2012 – CMT.com celebrates 15 years of digital innovation today, marking the event with a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the last decade and a half. Video montages were created to commemorate the event, and artists have joined in the celebration on Twitter via #CMT15YRS.

“People thought we were crazy when we launched,” said Martin Clayton, vice president of CMT.com. “No one at that time understood the power of the Internet. CMT.com was among the first genre-specific sites, and really one of the first brands to embrace the community. It’s incredible to look back at all we’ve accomplished over the last 15 years.”

Under Clayton’s direction, CMT.com launched in 1997 as one of the first major music websites among all genres, and continues to be the online authority for country music news and entertainment. CMT.com maintains its position as the #1 most-visited country music website, averaging more than 1.7 million unique visitors and 5 million video streams per month (comScore, Feb. 2012).

CMT.com is home to original productions, including its acclaimed performance franchise “Studio 330 Sessions,” as well as music videos, breaking news, event coverage and exclusive content. Earlier this year CMT.com announced its new online performance series CONCRETE COUNTRY, giving a home to gritty performances by alt-country and roots faves such as Lydia Loveless and The Farewell Drifters. CMT is also prepping the launch of a new blog CMT EDGE dedicated to music discovery, highlighting roots musicians. CMT EDGE will be curated by CMT.com Writer/Producer Craig Shelburne, and is expected to launch in summer 2012.

Clayton’s team orchestrated the network’s early adoption of social media platforms and in 2012, CMT now reaches more than two million fans across Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation and tweet using the hashtag #CMT15YRS.

CMT.COM MILESTONES:
•   CMT launched as Country.com in 1997, and was rebranded as CMT.com in 2001.
•   The current editorial team joined CMT.com in 2002, with Chet Flippo named as Editorial Director and bringing his popular Nashville Skyline column to the site. Managing Editor Calvin Gilbert and writer-producer Craig Shelburne also joined CMT.com that year.
•   CMT.com drove voting for the genre’s first all fan-voted music awards show in 2002 with the launch of the CMT MUSIC AWARDS.
•   CMT.com launched its first online performance franchise “New Voices, No Cover” in 2003, with artists including the Avett Brothers, Hayes Carll and Kathleen Edwards.
•   “Studio 330 Sessions” launched in 2005, and has featured such stars as Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Taylor Swift, Reba and many more.
•   In July 2006, CMT.com launched its broadband channel CMT Loaded, the first on-demand digital network for country music.
•   In 2007, CMT.com launched a one-of-a-kind celebration of digital excellence, the CMT.com Loaded Awards. The awards featured “not for TV” antics, with stars including Taylor Swift as host and performances by Lady Antebellum.
•   CMT.com launched its first user-generated talent search, Music City Madness, in 2007.
•   Under CMT.com, the network launched its first Facebook and Twitter accounts in 2008. The network now reaches more than 2 million followers across all of its social platforms.
•   In 2010, the network launched its free CMT INSIDER app, available now on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android devices.
•   CMT.com launched a new performance series in 2012, CONCRETE COUNTRY, and announced a forthcoming blog to highlight emerging music.

www.cmtpress.com

   CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT and its website, CMT.com, offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and is the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.
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PRESS CONTACT:
Amanda Murphy         615-335-8408         amanda.murphy@cmt.com

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