With everything that happened this past weekend, it was pretty obvious that the Grammys were going to make a big impact, but thanks to the combo of history making events and the growing dominance of cable and social media, music’s biggest night has made what is arguably its biggest impact ever. Sadly, music fans already know that while many of us were settling in to watch Adele’s big night, alot of the night’s anticipation turned out to center around the shocking death of legendary Pop and R&B singer Whitney Houston the night before before the telecast. The death of Whitney Houston, as well as other stand out moments like the reuniting of the Beach Boys, and the predictable but joyous sweep of Grammy wins for Adele, created a night bursting with plenty of buzz, and the ratings reflected that in a big record breaking way. Sunday night earned CBS its second largest ratting in Grammy’s telecast history with 40 million viewers, only being beat 27 years ago in 1984.
Because of the history made from this past weekend, this year’s Grammys had a completely different media focus that in itself made a record breaking history of its own. The Hollywood reporter put it best by saying that “This year’s Grammys weren’t just good business for CBS.” The whirl-wind of media craze also aided the competing E! network to score its most-watched pre-awards telecast ever. Also indirectly fueled by the death of Whitney Houston, the Ryan Seacrest and Guiliana Rancic hosted coverage grew 70 percent between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m and became one of the top 10 telecasts in E! history.
Record setting didn’t stop at TV. With the help of CBS Interactive, Grammy.com and the Grammy Live App compatible with the Ipod, Ipad and Iphone, the 54th annual Grammy awards also set a social media record, that according to music industry trade magazine Allaccess.com, set “a new social TV record with more than 13 million social media comments.” This online dominance helped the night’s events surpass the previously set social media record made by the 2012 Super Bowl only a week earlier.
The Grammy Live App became the number 1 downloaded free entertainment app Sunday night. This allowed viewers to access live videos, exclusive blogs, tweets, news and a behind the scenes camera covering all the action that didn’t fit within the confines of broadcast TV.
“We wanted to go all out this year in creating a second-screen experience that was going to help us drive excitement and tune-in for the awards, as well as give viewers access to content and videos that added another element to the broadcast,” said CBS Interactive Entertainment SVP/GM Lifestyle Division Marc Debevoise. “The interplay between Twitter, Facebook and Grammy Live created a real-time water cooler effect as evidenced by the huge numbers we’re seeing across all social media platforms.”
“Across the board — online, mobile and social — we saw huge increases in the interaction people had with this year’s Grammy Awards,” said The Recording Academy Chief Marketing Officer Evan Greene. “We’re thrilled that our efforts to engage people in the show paid off both in terms of how much activity we saw across all the interactive platforms, as well as the Grammy’s telecast’s significantly increased viewership.”
It looks like the Grammy viewing habits are catching up to the consumption habits of the average Day to day music fan. One million unique viewers logged onto “Grammy Live”, a three-day online and mobile event produced by CBS.com and The Recording Academy. E! Online achieved a new record high for it’s coverage specifically in daily unique visitors, page views and video plays, and the over all online social media experience has reportedly is “25 times bigger than 2011”. If you combine that stellar web performance with those fantastic ratings, the Grammys may have had their biggest night ever in history.