Circle Network, the network dedicated to putting fans inside the circle of everything country, and their one-hour “Opry Live” program are wrapping 2020 on a high note by earning the #1 spot on Pollstar’s Top 100 Livestreamers Chart across all genres and by placing 28 “Opry Live” shows in the Top 100 Livestreams Chart. “Opry Live,” a one-hour series featuring the Grand Ole Opry’s live Saturday night performances, officially began on March 14 which preceded Pollstar’s 2020 livestream chart. As of today, “Opry Live” has reached over 50 million views from 50 countries around the world.
Out of 100 all-genre livestreamers, “Opry Live” took the #1 spot with 30,327,437 views, nearly 15 million views higher than the second runner-up. “Opry Live” also dominated the all-genre Top 100 Livestreams Chart as the most ranked show, with two landing in the Top 10. Country icons and Grand Ole Opry members Vince Gill and Reba McEntire’s July performance came in at number 9 with more than 2.6 million views and more than 17,000 shares across social media, directly followed by Opry members Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s September performance at number 10 with more than 2.2 million views and 8,618 shares. This not only showcases the achievements of Circle and “Opry Live,” but also for country music as a whole.
Click here for Pollstar’s full Top 100 Livestreams chart.
These rankings arrive after an unprecedented year for the new network. On New Year’s Day, Circle celebrated by launching its network through Gray TV with more than 17 signature programs, soon to include “Opry Live,” a one-hour series featuring the Grand Ole Opry’s live Saturday night performances from country music’s most talked about artists including legends, superstars, up-and-comers and unexpected guest talent. Nearly three months later, COVID-19 hit, forcing the city of Nashville to shut down, which meant the 95-year-old Grand Ole Opry would keep the music playing, but without an in-venue audience. The Opry did so for 34 consecutive weeks before audiences were able to return at limited capacity October 3.
Within 36 hours of having to shut their doors to an in-house audience, Circle and the Opry moved their traditional live performances to a one-hour live stream and broadcast music program format, which has kept fans connected to the Opry and country’s biggest superstars each week through live TV and streaming on social media. Circle has been able to use this livestream model and the audience its attracted to build upon their additional original programming. “Opry Live” has also been the only show of its kind to continuously offer high-quality production of live music from a public venue throughout the pandemic.
“As the stewards of the Grand Ole Opry, it was never a question of if the Opry would play on, but how could it provide a safe and much-needed source of comfort during what has been an extraordinary year around the world,” said Scott Bailey, President of Opry Entertainment. “We are proud of this tremendous result and the numbers of viewers who have tuned in, not only for what it has meant for Circle, but also for what it says about the country music genre and country music fans. On behalf of all of us at the Grand Ole Opry and Opry Entertainment, I’d like to thank the artist community, industry and music lovers around the world for their continued support.”
“We never could have imagined the hurdles we would have to go through following the launch of our network earlier this year. Our steadfast team has remained dedicated to our mission of connecting country artists and fans through fresh content and it is incredible to see all of that hard work paying off with Pollstar’s end-of-year charts,” said Drew Reifenberger, General Manager at Circle Media. “We could have never pulled this off without the incredible artist community who trusted us along the way, our passionate and dedicated teams who developed and upheld rigorous safety protocols and the loyal fans who tuned in week after week.”
“Opry Live” broadcasts twice more in 2020, including this Saturday, December 19 at 9:00 p.m. EST when Circle will air a Christmas Special hosted by Amy Grant and featuring performances by an all-star lineup including Lauren Alaina, Lady A and Kelsea Ballerini. Additional upcoming performances include Lindsay Ell, Radney Foster, Emmylou Harris, Billy Strings, Charlie Worsham and more.
For more details and to find out where Circle is available in your market, please click here.