Countrytown Cracks US Market: ‘It Really Is The Little Engine That Could’

29 January 2024 | 3:43 pm | Ellie Robinson

“Country music is the fastest growing genre in the world and our Australian take on the global country marketplace is obviously resonating with readers across the globe.”


Countrytown (Supplied)

SGC Media’s own Countrytown has officially cracked the US market, overtaking mainstay publications like Music Row as one of the region’s Top Ten biggest country music sites.

As shown in data from Similarweb, Countrytown racked up some 270,345 unique visitors throughout December of 2023, making it that month’s seventh most popular country music site around the world. Music Row sat behind it with 224,275 visitors, while Holler narrowly beat it out with 289,334 visitors. The #1 site was Taste Of Country, which drew in 1.8 million visitors.

It’s especially impressive given that Countrytown only launched in 2020, and caters primarily to the Australian country music scene (which is undoubtably ironclad and dedicated, but pales in comparison to those in places like Nashville and Texas).

In a press release, Stephen GreenCountrytown’s publisher and CEO – said the title “really is the little engine that could in a media world that we are constantly told is ‘challenging’.” He explained: “Country music is the fastest growing genre in the world and our Australian take on the global country marketplace is obviously resonating with readers across the globe.”

It comes at a pivotal time, not just for Countrytown but the broader country music scene in Australia, as the genre enjoys a major mainstream resurgence. Last year, for example, we saw global icons like Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs and Zach Bryan all play arenas and stadiums to sold-out crowds.

Countrytown’s published content is syndicated to KIX Country, Australia’s largest country radio network. The bespoke Countrytown Hot 50 chart also serves as the basis for several key uses, including national broadcast on stations like 2GB and 3AW, and Ray Hadley’s Country Countdown.

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Alongside its roving coverage of country music news and artist features – covering the Australian scene and happenings from all around the world – Countrytown offers a handful of tailored columns and regular features such as My Countrytown, The Countrytown Cookoff, and weekly roundups of highlights from ABC Country’s Grass Roots program. There’s also the Hot Country Hits Australia playlist, which is updated weekly on Fridays.

Countrytown is one of three publications owned and operated by SGC Media, alongside and Purple Sneakers. Touching on the company’s vision, Green said: “Our business was founded on celebrating, developing and unearthing new music while doubling down on the importance of music journalism and telling human stories to connect people with the artists.

“Music media are the original influencers and we’re here to show that strong mastheads and a focus on tech and audiences can build music culture in a way that no other medium can.

“By understanding our audiences and writing the stories people want to read rather than the content people want to pay us to write, we’ve developed a strong bond with our readers and ultimately that has strengthened our mastheads.

“We are here to tell the stories of Australian music and build communities around passion for songs and artists. We want to create inclusive mastheads where audiences can learn more about their favourite artists and create connections with new songs that could just change their lives. The fact that our approach is resonating not just here at home, but across the world bodes well for the business and the opportunities we can take. It proves our hypothesis that music media can mesh new technology with old-school storytelling to build local communities as well as global pathways.”