Academy of Country Music Reveals Category Changes

The Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards revealed a slate of changes on today (Dec. 1), including the expansion of the number of final-round nominees in the coveted entertainer of the year category from five to seven final nominees.

The 58th annual ACM Awards, produced by dick clark productions, will livestream exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video on May 11, 2023, live from Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

“The 58th ACM Awards cycle brings thoughtful and well-considered changes to numerous awards categories to better match the landscape of our industry’s music, visual content, and radio broadcasts and, specifically, how they have changed and grown with the times,” Kelly Rich, chair of the ACM Awards, voting, and membership committee, said in a statement.

Additional new category changes are as follows:

Songwriter of the year

The category will split into two categories: songwriter of the year and artist-songwriter of the year.

The ACM songwriter of the year award is presented to an individual known predominately as a songwriter and does not serve as the primary artist on any songs in the top 20 Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Mediabase Country charts during the eligibility period. Nominees will be selected by a professional panel of judges composed of songwriters, publishers, producers, and performing rights organization (PRO) representatives. The panel will submit five nominees, which will be placed on the final ballot once approved by the ACM board of directors.

The ACM artist-songwriter of the year award is presented to an individual known both as an artist and a songwriter who was the predominate recording artist on at least one song that charted in the top 20 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs or Mediabase Country charts during the eligibility period. Nominees will be selected by the same professional panel of judges as songwriter of the year, who will submit five nominees.

Album of the year

The criteria for the ACM Awards album of the year category will increase the required amount of previously unreleased content from 51% to 75%, while the release window has been updated to better accommodate gradual release schedules.

An album is defined as a unified, released body of work with a minimum of either seven (7) full-length musical works and/or thirty (30) minutes in length. An album is considered released on the first available date that the material can be purchased or streamed by a consumer in its entirety. If the album was released during the two prior eligibility periods but achieved its highest charting position on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart during the eligibility period, it is eligible unless it has appeared on a final ACM ballot in this category.

“Best Of,” “Greatest Hits,” and re-recordings of previously released albums are ineligible. Only the standard edition of an album may be submitted for eligibility. Once an album is nominated in the final round, it may not be nominated in alternate configurations for future voting.

Video of the year

The video of the year category has been expanded into visual media of the year, to include additional formats of visual content.

Radio Awards

There are also shifts in the criteria for the ACM’s radio award for national personality of the year, which has been updated to require that show submissions are distributed across all U.S. continental time zones. This shift will impact the national weekly on-air personality of the year, as well as the national daily on-air personality of the year. 

Submissions for the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards will open at 11 a.m. CT on Jan. 9, 2023. The Academy will accept entries through Jan. 27, 2023 at 7 p.m. CT.

First-round voting for the main awards will run from Feb. 27, 2023-March 6, 2023, with second-round voting running from March 27, 2023-April 3, 2023 and final-round voting for the main awards running from April 17, 2023 through April 24, 2023. The eligibility period for submissions for the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards runs from Nov. 16, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2022.

First-round voting for the radio awards run from Feb. 27, 2023 through March 13, 2023, while final-round voting for the radio awards runs from March 27, 2023 through April 10, 2023.