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Grammy Awards viewership falls to record low in 2021

Just 8.8 million people tuned into the Grammy Awards on CBS this year, a new all-time low for the music awards show, according to near-final Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: In a sign of how much the pandemic has sped up ratings declines for award shows, the Grammy's ratings were still the highest for any major award show in the past year.


  • The Golden Globes were viewed by just 6.9 million people this year, a record low. Viewership of the Emmys last September dropped 11% year-over-year to just 6.1 million viewers, another record low.
  • Prior to Sunday, 2006 was the lowest-rated Grammy Awards with 17 million viewers.

Be smart: The Grammy Awards were already struggling prior to the pandemic. Last January, the show hit a new low in the key 18-49 advertising demographic. The 2020 Grammy Awards had low ratings as well with only 18.7 million viewers.

Details: Despite the ratings slide, the show was lauded by critics as intimate and unique.

  • A wide range of artists from Taylor Swift to Cardi B and Lionel Richie took the stage to perform inside, while awards were presented to celebrities at socially-distanced tables outside of the theater.
  • Women like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion swept the top awards categories.
  • What's next: Final viewership numbers for the event will be available in the next day or so but they are unlikely to boost the viewership count substantially. The next major award show is the Academy Awards in late April.

Go deeper: Award show viewership drops to record lows

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Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

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