As part of its aggressive strategy to expand its music content across multiple media platforms, CMT will re-brand the existing digital country music video channel known as VH1 Country and re-launch it as CMT Pure Country. In addition, CMT will launch a separate broadband network called CMT Loaded, it was announced Monday (March 27) by CMT executive vice president and general manager Brian Philips and MTV Networks chief digital officer Jason Hirschhorn, MTVN. CMT Pure Country will debut on Memorial Day weekend, while CMT Loaded will bow late this summer.
“Our viewers want to connect with their favorite artists through every path,” said Philips. “CMT Pure Country and CMT Loaded, combined with our other services, will allow us to deepen our relationship with viewers while offering more of what country music fans come to CMT for — killer music.”
“With the launch of CMT Loaded, CMT becomes the first country music network to put the power of programming in our audience’s hands,” said Hirschhorn. “Loaded offers our viewers endless opportunities to watch music videos on demand, stay connected to their favorite programs or stay up on the latest country music news and more original programming.”
CMT Pure Country is a music video-based channel designed to directly connect with the core country audience. CMT Pure Country will deliver the sounds and images of country music in its essential form, performed by the genre’s most authentic voices. The network will be a breeding ground for consumers to sample both new and established artists, enhancing their country music experience. Carried in more than 16 million homes, CMT Pure Country will be available via Comcast, Charter, Cox, CableOne, Mediaone, Knology, Cequel II, Armstrong Cable and Blue Ridge Cable.
Serving as a complement to CMT, CMT Pure Country will feature music videos from such artists as Johnny Cash, Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw, Gretchen Wilson, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson and others.
In addition, CMT will debut its new broadband channel CMT Loaded that will feature new, short-form originals, exclusive performances, breaking news and enhanced content from established CMT shows, such as CMT Insider and CMT Top Twenty Countdown. Loaded will be available free and on demand at CMT.com.
CMT Pure Country and CMT Loaded join other CMT services already available to viewers such as CMT.com, CMT Mobile, CMT Video on Demand and through MHD, MTV Network’s high-definition channel.
America’s No. 1 country music Web site, CMT.com hosts an online catalog with thousands of full-length streaming music videos, exclusive album listening parties, CMT Radio and more. CMT.com has grown some 66 percent in usage over the past year and boasts one of the highest average minutes per user at 21 minutes, according to a 2005 comScore Streaming Media Report.
In 2005, CMT.com introduced its exclusive online performance franchise, Studio 330 Sessions, which features stripped down acoustic performances from established country music stars and emerging artists filmed live in the CMT studio. CMT.com will utilize the digital music service URGE, launching later this year, to enhance fans’ interactive experience with exclusive CMT music programming, in addition to a broad catalog of music choices offering more than 2 million songs across all genres.
To date, CMT Mobile has debuted more than 300 mobisodes including world premiere videos under the CMT Uncorked banner and much of the content available at CMT.com. Wireless subscribers can also access exclusive ringtones from Nashville’s best studio players and recording artists, available on a variety of mobile carriers. CMT launched video on demand in 2005 which can be seen via Charter, Comcast, Cox and Verizon and is available through Verizon’s new FiOS IPTV service.
Exclusive CMT programming and music videos can also be seen in high definition on MHD, a music-centric HDTV channel with content drawn from the CMT, MTV and VH1 family of brands. Covering multiple genres of music, the channel features original music based programming as well as HDTV acquisitions and original content including popular series such as CMT Crossroads.
CMT, owned and operated by MTV Networks, reaches more than 80.9 million households in the United States.