Despite Big-Name Performances, Grammys Plunge to All-Time Viewership & Ratings Lows

Recording Academy Hosted Grammy Ratings Hit Another Near-Low, Down 24% from 2017
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The 63rd Grammys suffered a 53 percent year-over-year drop in total viewers as well as a 61 percent falloff in the coveted 18-49 demographic, with each figure representing a record low.

8.8 million fans tuned in for the 2021 Grammys ceremony, per Adweek, despite the fact that the event featured performances from Cardi B, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Harry Styles, BTS, and others. The viewership total was the lowest of any Grammys telecast to date, however, including both last year’s controversy-heavy event (which attracted 18.7 million watchers) and the 2006 Grammys, which had previously laid claim to the sparsest-audience distinction with its 17 million watchers.

And in the aforementioned 18-49 demographic, the 2021 Grammys delivered a 2.1 rating – a 61 percent decline from 2020’s 5.4 rating and another all-time low. The totals, it bears mentioning, reflect television viewers and streamers (on, CBS’s app, and Paramount+) alike. In terms of the latter, the Recording Academy worked hard to drum up interest on social media (presumably targeting fans who are likelier to stream than watch on TV), posting and retweeting a combined total of approximately 200 messages during the broadcast.

Given these main-ceremony audience numbers, that the pre-telecast Grammy Premiere managed to score nearly 13 million viewers appears to be largely attributable to BTS ARMY diehards, as opposed to interest in the early awards.

A livestream of BTS watching the Grammy Premiere almost outperformed the official stream itself, and more than a few fans stated on social media that the Grammys’ stream had experienced a clear-cut viewership dip after Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga took home the “Best Pop Duo or Group Performance” award.

Furthermore, it’s unclear what this and other less-than-encouraging ratings developments mean for lengthy live-television events – and especially awards shows – moving forward. The Golden Globes earlier this month experienced a 64 percent year-over-year decline in audience size, while the Billboard Music Awards’ television audience touched a record low of 3.6 million in 2020, falling 55 percent from 2019.

November of 2020’s American Music Awards slipped 50 percent in the ratings department and 43 percent in viewers, with an audience of 3.8 million. And while The Voice finale ratings held relatively steady, Super Bowl LV secured fewer viewers than any big game since 2006, besides a rating low not seen since 1969, when Joe Namath and his New York Jets upset the Baltimore Colts in an AFL-NFL matchup.

With the 2021 Golden Globes and Grammys in the books, it’ll be worth following how the Oscars fare in terms of ratings and viewership when they take place on ABC on Sunday, April 25th.

14 Responses

  1. Johnny

    Remembering Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Eagles and Queen ……

  2. BAC

    I can’t understand why people don’t want to watch the same bunch of talentless hacks who appear on every other “awards” show.

  3. Will

    The show is a travesty. It’s partially because the academy is derailed and partially because the music industry, as a whole, has lost it’s way. Instead of focusing on A&R to develop actual artists, the bean-counters are looking to social media metrics and short-term cash grabs. Sad, but everything is cyclical and things will turn around eventually

    • David Porter

      Lost their way? They don’t think so!

      Global recorded music revenues grew 7% in 2020 to reach $23.1 billion in record label trade revenue terms!

      • Lyle Abbott

        The words of a bean counter. Sales are sales, The art of music has been lost.

  4. Dr. Faucibreath

    Darn—I missed it again. I wanted so much to have Bruce Springsteen scold me while drunk in his mansion.

    I guess there is next year.

    • Manny Trujillo

      A swing and a miss at humor yet again. You need help.

      • Dr. Faucibreath

        Hahahahahahahaa. All these leftist communist musicians can go fuk themselves. This is war, fuk socialists.

        • Theodore J. Scott III

          Yeah your comments are rock solid stupidity. Leftist communist? That doesn’t make any sense. You have zero idea what you’re talking about – just throwing out terms you think sound good. What a moron. No matter what name you comment under, you’re still a sad, weak little punk-ass bitch who never got love from his mother.

          • Angelito's mom

            I can confirm this, as I couldn’t love such a stupid, ugly baby. He was then and he is now

          • Ian Iachimoe

            Ratings are down because you suck, Grammy. You hate and fear the people who give you careers. Receiving lectures about what to think, what to say is not fun. I don’t care about your opinions, I don’t support your causes, and I don’t like your muzak.

  5. lou cabaza

    Why this should be a surprise no brainer is no mystery. Music composition has deteriorated to an all time lows since anyone with a computer can win a Grammy
    I hope this trend will finally awake the masses but I doubt it. The masses will always be too gullible and tasteless

  6. Susan

    The artist make all these comments about how everyone is racist. They also give out their opinions freely yet we the average Joe’s can’t without being called racist.No one is prefect but the people showed them what we think ! They forget that its the public who really sign their paychecks. They need to remember that! They put their pants on the same way they do but its us that pay for their music. People can and will stop doing it.