What are the larger implications of The Grammys steep ratings drop? [OP-ED]

This post was originally published on this site

60th-GRAMMY-AWARDS (1)

By most accounts, the Grammy Awards in 2018 was a big swing, and a big miss. The ceremony’s ratings plummeted by nearly 25% according to Nielsen Media, dropping from last year’s 32.9 million viewers down to 19.8 million for its most recent iteration. While the evening’s results have come under under considerable scrutiny following the event, Bruno Mars’ sweep of all the major categories isn’t the sole reason that The Grammys effectively tanked in what should have been a memorable year for the Recording Academy. We can examine the ceremony’s numerous blunders, but it is also worth noting that the ways we consume media, and the ways we relate to and access our artists in 2018 have changed drastically — and The Grammys need to figure out how to keep from regressing.

First, let’s start at the tip of the iceberg, examining an advertisement-bloated three and a half hour industry circle-jerk. In an age where on-demand content is at our fingertips 24 hours a day, slimming this thing down is going to be necessary for it’s survival. HQ Trivia posted record numbers of nearly 1.6 million players 90 minutes into the award ceremony. If that’s not a testament to how our attention spans are directed in 2018, perhaps nothing is.

A noticeable lack of the usual headline makers this year — including Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber — also likely contributed to viewers’ even further numbed attention spans. But stuffy award shows across the board are suffering, and The Grammys aren’t immune. The Oscars, Golden Globes, and MTV Video Music Awards are all struggling with fluctuating viewership drop offs each year too, but the Recording Academy was uniquely poised this year to give some of the most important cultural figureheads of the moment the proper platforms and recognition they deserve in the divisive, tumultuous socio-political climate we’re currently a part of… and they fell flat on their face. 

Setting Jay Z and Kendrick‘s snubs aside (we’ll get back to those), how is it conceivably possible that “Despacito” did not win one of the three major awards it was nominated for? Simply put, the track is, for better or worse, one of the most consumed pieces of content in human history. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s record-shattering collaboration head and shoulders outsold and out-streamed any remote competitors last year in 50 countries, amassing a whopping 4 billion YouTube views, an RIAA diamond certification, and snagged a record 16 weeks atop the Billboard charts. So, beyond the incontrovertible numbers, an objective look at “Despacito” begs the question, why didn’t it win any Grammys? Perhaps the Recording Academy isn’t ready to recognize Latin pop in the ceremony’s top three major award categories like the rest of us clearly did?

Carlos Santana’s “Smooth,” released in 1999 followed by Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in 2000 were the last two comparable comparisons, and both are of course in English. Nearly two decades later, the average American music and television consumer has switched things up significantly; and while The Grammys is clearly slow to catch up to the times, we’ve long been ready for something different.

Back to Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z. It has been 20 years since there were no white males nominated for Album of the Year. In a year when the American people were gifted with two thoughtfully created concepts of black excellence and deeply personal storytelling, Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic wins Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. It’s also worth noting that Mars’ album, for what it was, was terrific. That’s not in dispute. But was 24K Magic‘s quasi-Motown, mass appeal wedding reception fare worthy of drowning out two of the most impactful hip-hop albums in recent memory? No, definitely not. That simply doesn’t seem like the progress everyone wants to see.

Look at the Best New Artist category. Alessia Cara has been signed to Def Jam Records since 2014, SZA has been releasing music since 2012. Perhaps a designation like “breakthrough artists” would be more accurate. That fact that both of these immensely talented young women are just now being recognized comes off as painfully tone deaf. Is the Recording Academy voting innocuously — most likely. But the 2018 awards ceremony highlighted the fact that the Grammy Awards are unfortunately stuck way behind the times, and the effects undoubtedly showed.

Last year, Chance The Rapper challenged the status quo earning a grip of Gramophones for an album that technically didn’t sell a single unit. Now that’s progress. He changed the game — and viewership reflected it with the ceremony raking in it’s highest numbers in half a decade. We’re going to need more than Hillary Clinton reading a snippet of Fire and Fury next year; the audiences, consumers, and fans deserve it. If The Grammys want to continue to claim to be music’s real cultural barometer, make it for the people, not additional vanity for the music industry. Consider and recognize the music that truly deserves it most, represent social progress where possible, and try stepping out of the comfort zone — at the end of the day, that’s what really moves people.

Alessia Cara Addresses Backlash Over Her Grammy Win

This post was originally published on this site

Alessia Cara won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist last night against a field that included Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels, and SZA. A lot of people on the internet were not happy that she won, and that displeasure seems to have had an effect on the young musician because she posted More »

Grammys 2018: Performances From Worst To Best

This post was originally published on this site

Before this year’s Grammys, news broke that Lorde would not be performing at the ceremony, since the producers wouldn’t let her sing one of her own songs — an invitation extended to all four other Album Of The Year nominees, all of whom were men. So in looking at this year’s performances, of which … More »

Grammys 2018: Alessia Cara Wins Best New Artist

This post was originally published on this site

Alessia Cara has been crowned the Best New Artist at tonight’s 60th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. They beat out a field that included Khalid, Lil Uzi Vert, Julia Michaels, and SZA. Her debut album, Know-It-All, came out in 2015 and was supported by the lead single “Here.” She also features on Logic’s “More »

Your Guide To The 2018 Grammys: Will They Leave Kendrick Out In The Cold Again?

This post was originally published on this site

The Grammys are this weekend — Sunday at 7:30PM EST on your local CBS affiliate, to be exact — and as always, we’re (almost certainly naïvely) hoping they won’t suck this time. They probably will; they always do. Yet thanks to a somewhat promising slate of nominees in the major categories, a similarly half-decent … More »

RIAA Names Zedd and Alessia Cara’s ‘Stay’ As The #1 Dance Recording Of 2017

This post was originally published on this site

The Recording Industry Association of America has formally announced their top dance recording for the year of 2017. The industry is behind the awarding the different sales milestones that singles and albums reach such gold, platinum and occasionally diamond. Obviously their choice was a hit record that nailed down not just platinum status but double

The post RIAA Names Zedd and Alessia Cara’s ‘Stay’ As The #1 Dance Recording Of 2017 appeared first on EDM Sauce.

On Blue Lips, Tove Lo Continues Her Fall From The Clouds

This post was originally published on this site

One of the world’s greatest pop singer-songwriters seemed to achieve her final form this year by having drunken sex with a muppet in a music video called “Disco Tits.” The song itself is a jam, a poised and minimal dance-floor deconstruction that toggles between spacious staccato piano stabs and synthetic bass throbs that roll with … More »

24K Starboys: Thoughts Upon Seeing The Weeknd & Bruno Mars On Consecutive Nights

This post was originally published on this site

The year was 2011. Winter was on the verge of melting away, but the sounds emanating from the north were still plenty frigid. From out of the newly ascendant Toronto scene that gave us Drake came a dark and mysterious figure calling himself the Weeknd. We’d later learn this person was Abel Tesfaye, a child … More »

“867-5309″ Is No Longer the Highest-Charting Phone Number in Music History

This post was originally published on this site

According to Billboard, Logic’s “1-800-273-8255,” which features Khalid and Alessia Cara, is now the No. 3 song in the country. This is a historic occasion because that makes “1-800-273-8255″ the highest-charting phone number (in the title of a song) in the Hot 100. Tommy Tutone’s ’80s hit “867-5309/Jenny,” the prior record-holder, … More »

Insufferable YouTubers Are Now Making Terrible Rap Music Too

This post was originally published on this site

There comes a time in every adult human’s life, should they be lucky enough to live that long, when they must conclude that youth culture is trash — or at least it has become entirely indecipherable to anyone old enough to exist outside its bubble. From my vantage point out here, I’m pretty sure what’s … More »