Despite the star studded turn out for this year's Grammys, the 2021 award ceremony saw a new historic low in viewers with only 7.88 million people tuning in to the CBS broadcast last Sunday.
Nielsen’s Live reported the considerably low ratings when compared to last year's show, which drew an average of 18.7 million.
These stats align with a continuing trend for award ceremonies during the pandemic. It would appear that Covid-19 has had devastating effects on these events, as the digital substitutes have failed to drum up the same level of excitement and drama as their live and in-person counterparts.
The low ratings compared with 6.9 million views for the Golden Globes, another record low for a full ceremony, and 6.1 million for the Emmy Awards in September. However, CBS are looking for the positives, boasting that they obtained the “largest audience for an awards show this season”. That said, there's no getting around the fact that award ceremonies are on the decline. For context, the Grammys ratings peaked at 39.9 million views in 2012.
Unlike the Globes and Emmys, this year's Grammys did not depend on Zoom acceptance speeches but instead produced an outdoor, socially-distanced event in Los Angeles where the winners could claim their trophies. This helped to give the event the feel of a traditional awards ceremony whilst protecting artists in the process.
Regardless of the numbers, this year's Grammys were received well – from the elaborate performances from Harry Styles, Cardi B, Dua Lipa and BTS, to the notable female dominance of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift.