The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

CMT Viral to Verified

Entered in Vertical Video


'Viral To Verified,' is a digital series tailored for the vertical platforms that propelled our featured musicians to stardom. Breaking free from conventions, the series captures intimate stories, celebrating resilience, creativity, and the transformative power of personal and artistic authenticity within social media. Season 2 of the series featured first-hand accounts from five fast-rising country artists whose innovation, musicianship and compelling narratives converged across social platforms.

Strategy and Execution

CMT's "Viral To Verified" series embodies a strategic approach to spotlight emerging country music talents who have achieved industry success through social media, departing from traditional routes. Featured talent were carefully curated for their remarkable rise, and to specifically showcase the evolving landscape of music discovery and celebrate diverse voices shaping the industry.
Each episode was crafted by combining in-depth interviews with curated social media posts directly from the artists' accounts. This approach aimed to offer viewers a comprehensive and authentic narrative, documenting the artists' journey from relative obscurity to industry recognition. By weaving together personal stories and digital footprints, the series captures the essence of their ascent to stardom.
Additionally, the production of each episode was tailored to a vertical format, optimizing engagement across various platforms. This strategic adaptation ensures that the content seamlessly integrates into the digital landscape, maximizing its impact and resonance with the CMT audiences and fan bases that each artist had cultivated.
Complementing the narrative, each episode features a full standalone performance from the artist, serving as a companion piece to their story. This provides viewers with a firsthand experience of the artists' musical talents, further enhancing their connection and appreciation.
Episodes premiered across CMT's social channels, with a deliberate emphasis on platforms such as Instagram Reels and TikTok. Leveraging these platforms, which played a pivotal role in the artists' initial breakthroughs, ensures maximum visibility and engagement. By meeting audiences where they are most active, the series amplifies its reach and solidifies its position as a leader in spotlighting emerging talent within the country music genre.


In Season 2 of CMT's ""Viral To Verified,"" the series surpassed expectations, outperforming similar content on the CMT account featuring up-and-coming talent. The strategic blend of storytelling, curated social media content, and tailored production resonated strongly with audiences, driving higher engagement and viewership.
One notable highlight was Megan Moroney's episode, featuring a captivating performance as a companion piece. This performance not only enhanced the episode's narrative but also earned a  nomination for the CMT Music Awards, showcasing the series' ability to elevate emerging artists to industry recognition.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

MTV Entertainment Studios


Entry Credits