Did the Grammys have such low viewership because ladies need to ‘step up’?

The 60th Annual Grammy Awards as seen on CBS.

Personally, I thought this year’s Grammys were better than the 2017 and 2016 Grammys. Which one had the neverending ACDC performance? Jesus, that was a nightmare! And last year’s Grammys were super-depressing because of all the tributes to the amazing artists we lost. My point? The 2018 Grammys were actually joyful for the most part, and there were several great performances by dudes. That was the biggest issue – male artists got unlimited time to perform, male artists got the overwhelming majority of awards, and the Recording Academy president Neil Portnow told women that they “need to step up” if they too want to be recognized at the Grammys. Nevermind that Lorde was denied a chance to perform, even though she was the sole female artist up for Album of the Year. Nevermind that Ed Sheeran won a Grammy for knocking off a TLC song. Anyway, this year’s Grammys lost viewers:

Roughly 20 million viewers watched the 60th Grammy Awards on CBS Sunday, a 23 percent decline from a year ago and the smallest audience since 2009 for the recording industry’s annual kudos. While ratings for linear TV broadcasts are falling across the board these days, Grammy’s Nielsen numbers had been relatively stable in recent years: Until last night, the show had pulled in at least 25 million viewers every year this decade. So what changed this year?

It probably didn’t help that the show kicked off earlier than ever (7:30 p.m. on the East Coast and 4:30 p.m. out West), possibly confusing audiences used to an 8 p.m. start time. Unlike recent years, there also was no star-studded big tribute to a deceased artist (Prince last year; David Bowie and Eagles’ Glenn Frey in 2016). What’s more, this year’s telecast was the first since 2011 to not feature a performance from (or even an appearance by) either Beyoncé, Adele, or Taylor Swift. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from one year of numbers. Perhaps producers screwed up with too much U2 and not enough Lorde (or female solo performers in general). Or maybe Bey, Adele, and T-Swift had been forestalling the inevitable — and Nielsen gravity has finally caught up to the Grammys. The good news for CBS: Even with the big decline, the Grammys still pulled in the biggest same-day audience for a prime-time entertainment broadcast since last year’s Oscars.

[From Vulture]

Yes, that would be my assessment too – no big nominations or performances by Beyonce, Adele or Taylor Swift. People like Bruno Mars, but it doesn’t feel like his fanbase is made up of crazy stans who worship him like the fanbases of Adele, Swift and Beyonce. Those ladies have fanbases who will tune into the Grammys just to see them perform and win awards. Which means that women are actually f–king carrying the music industry. Which means that it’s f–king bullsh-t for the Recording Academy president to condescendingly claim that women need to “step up.”

Speaking of, Lorde had some thoughts:

That’s a link to her tour schedule. Pink also had some thoughts:

Word. Incidentally, the Recording Academy president released a statement apologizing for his “step up” comments and trying to clarify – you can read his statement here.

60th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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37 Responses to “Did the Grammys have such low viewership because ladies need to ‘step up’?”

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  1. Tiffany says:

    They opened with Kendrick and after that there was no point in watching it anymore.


  2. Lake Mom says:

    Women have been stepping up for years. If the Grammy’s have low ratings, it’s because they want their entertainment to be entertaining and not political.

  3. me says:

    The Grammy’s were way too “serious” this year. I just wanted to tune in to have some fun…Bruno delivered that with Cardi B. The show was depressing. I’m tired of tuning in to TV only to see the same depressing sad stuff over and over. TV used to be an escape for most people.

    • V4Real says:

      Bruno was great and Lorde deserved to perform because she was nominated.

      Ed Sheeran knocked off a TCL song? Well I guess people didn’t know that Candi Burress from the RHOA and formerly of the group Xscape was a writer on that song and she also wrote TLC’s No Scrub. So we should blame her for ripping off one of her own songs, not Ed.

      • JennaR says:

        Kandi and Tiny who wrote “No Scrubs” were added as writers after the fact…AFTER it came to light that he had copied them. It appears to be a pattern.

    • Esmom says:

      Seriously? Like there aren’t a million other options to watch on TV? I personally like seeing artists use their platforms and opportunities to speak out politically. You may want to “escape” but we’re in crisis on so many fronts and the more ways we can get the message out the better.

      • me says:

        Not everyone has Netflix, or cable you know. The point I was making is the world is extremely depressing. You can choose an Awards show to “get the message out” but also add some “fun” to the show so people aren’t over-saturated.

  4. mia girl says:

    Here’s a thought: Recording Academy President Neil Portnow could have “stepped off” stage and given his 3 minutes to Lorde, where I am entirely sure she would have “stepped up” to the moment.

    Every year that man brings the show to a grinding halt with his too long, boring-a** speech.

  5. Beth says:

    Maybe if there wasn’t a pat on the back award show every night, I’d be a little more interested in watching. While I was younger I used to look forward to watching, but now I find them boring and usually forget when they’re on

  6. marianne says:

    I mean viewership is down in general across awards shows. So its not like its a grammy exclusive problem.

    Personally, I think them partnering up with either a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu or partnering up with youtube and officially stream the show there would help. More and more young people are moving away from cable. So broadening where people can find the show, would help. And at least with youtube, they could still get some ad revenue.

    And then more specifically to the grammys, while a lot of the songs were about important issues (which is great) a lot of them were also very slow. I think there needs to be more of a balance. How are you going to get people to stay up for 3 hrs if they’re bored half way through. There needed to be more lively moments.

  7. Rob says:

    No…. the low viewership is because people with sense don’t want to watch 3 hours of TRD ….

  8. Lori says:

    I feel like the whole concept of the awards show has to change a little. Its old fashioned. Make some changes- I dont think the gender/race thing is fully to blame for it.

    Streaming it on netflix would have had me hooked, I’m in Norway so I dont even get to see the videos of Rihanna’s dance on youtuve because its location blocked :(

    “The kids” use streaming, catch up Grammy people.

  9. Bridget says:

    Oh the irony, that the broadcast was much more viewed the years Beyonce, Adele, and Taylor Swift were being honored. But Sure Jan. It’s the ladies that need to step up.

  10. Odetta says:

    The Grammys might get some more viewers if they included some better music too, not every one likes pop and r and b. Incubus, foo fighters, queens of the Stone Age, and royal blood all had new albums this year, gord Downie released a solo album, his final music before he died.

    • KicktheSticks says:

      This. I’m not an R&B fan, ever. Not my thing. I like the occasional rap artist and often enjoy their Grammy performances because I like when music stirs up emotions, good or bad. Music is also about rock and metal and country. Grammy night should encompass all genres. I remember watching it and literally everyone would be represented: some rock, some rap, some pop, some country, some r&b, and a tribute or two. Not this year. Who was that Logic guy? Chester was a metal singer, maybe they should have had a bunch of rock bands pay tribute to him and Chris Cornell. Even the Vegas victims tribute seemed uninspired. It should have included more and been given more time. Disappointing show in general.

  11. Mina says:

    20 million is a good number for the current times TV is going through. Those numbers will keep declining as people connect less and less with traditional TV. This year’s Grammys were especially “young”, in terms of artists singing and nominated (my guess is that’s one of the reasons why they added Bono and Sting), and it’s the younger audience who watches less TV. I don’t know if those numbers consider streaming or just online rating.

    Also, I think the general audience is getting tired of how politics have taken over award shows. At least that’s the comments I’ve got whenever covering them. People now expect them to be, and avoid them all together. I guess it’s kind of a given in the Trump era, but not everyone wants to hear one artist after the other say the same thing (or hear about politics at all, really, in that context). Politics have always had a place in these kind of events, but speeches used to be more diverse in topic.

  12. manta says:

    《There was no star-studded big tribute to a deceased artist》
    Well Chuck Berry and Fats Domino both died last year, so there was room for honoring two legends , and make it pretty entertaining.

  13. Mindrew says:

    They want the numbers up (and this goes for ALL the awards shows) – make them free to stream – because trust me – there are a bunch of folks who just don’t enough of a crap to want CBS All Access just for the Grammys. With people cutting the cord all over – there is a large swath of folks who can’t get their local network channels (I can’t unless we put a big old old-fashioned antenna on our roof, thanks to the fact that we live in a valley) and who miss out on the ‘big awards shows’ because there is just no way to get ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW.

    And thinking that the only way to keep numbers up is by having either Adele, Beyonce or Taylor Swift for this show is ridiculous… you know what? I know it’s hard for some to believe, but there are plenty of folks who just don’t care about any of them (or what the Grammy’s deem as popular music).

  14. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Not even clicking that link for excuses lol. No clarification needed for, “Need to step up.”

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      Right? Watching yet another clueless jerkwad try to walk back his obnoxious misogyny is pretty far down on my “to do” list.

  15. megan says:

    I didn’t watch the Grammy’s for the first time in years – because I knew it was going to be political and I am SICK to death of the mixing of entertainment and politics in this country.

    Sometimes you just want to be entertained and listen to music. I can watch the news and read online papers for politics.

  16. Kitty says:

    It’s because music/entertainment industry is not as good as it was in the past.

  17. Lua says:

    Your comment plus that “ladies have fanbases who will tune into the Grammys just to see them perform and win awards. Which means that women are actually f–king carrying the music industry” I think are the perfect two assessments. Put your stars at the end and learn from mistakes this year if you want viewership to rise.

  18. Nicole says:

    That guy needs a punch to the face.

  19. Anastasia says:

    I haven’t watched the Grammys since Amy Winehouse won Best New Artist. :(

    I just got bored with it. Plus now I don’t have cable or anything. I stream everything I watch.

    Oh and my #1 reason? I can read all about it and see all the outfits the next day on Celebitchy! :)

  20. lisa says:

    i tuned in just in time to see miss patti freakin lupone teach the children what awesome it, then i changed the channel because nothing else was gonna top it


    im still dead

  21. Pandy says:

    I watch the Oscarsfor most of the show but I’m a faithful viewer of the preshow red carpets. I don’t watch either the red carpet or Grammy show because music fashion is usually shitastic. Not worth it.

  22. TJ says:

    Maybe it’s bc people are getting tired of grossly over-entitled celebrities preaching at them.

  23. Goldengirllover34 says:

    There is no need for me to watch the Grammys. I just watch my favorite performances the next day. I’m not wasting 3 hours of my life on one program that has at most (and I’m being generous) one hour of content that I find entertaining. With Netflix, the internet, Hulu and cable, I don’t feel like I’m stuck watching the 95 thousand award shows. Plus the Grammys always seems to mess up who wins so it’s a big eye roll from me.

  24. MP says:

    One. Yes, women should have been winning and performing for audience ratings and acknowledgement of their talent!
    Two. This is a boygroup, BUT the only one that can save a shows ratings (outside of Beyonce/Rihanna/etc) at the drop of a hat. BTS, singing in Korean and doing what they want to do, brings in ratings no matter what. That’s where all the big worldwide fanbases looking at. Just give them decent camerawork and let them do a live band.
    (They aren’t just a boygroup, they are music artists with a music label that puts even US labels to shame)

  25. j says:

    Am I the only one who was bothered that he kept referring to women’s pursuit of careers in music as “following their dreams”?? This isn’t about little girls singing into hairbrushes and praying for stardom. This is about ESTABLISHED female artists being snubbed and then guys like him mansplaining why it’s not sexist.

  26. Ozogirl says:

    People like him are a big part of the problem. Totally out of touch. He needs to step down and the Grammys need to restructure their voting/nomination system.

    The ratings were down because women like Adele, Taylor (yuck) and Beyonce were not part of the show. Plus popular men like Drake, Eminem and Bieber don’t want a part of it.

  27. Jillie bean says:

    Grammies are a frigging irrelevant snooze fest… the winners are usually the most bland crappy nominee in the bunch::: YAWN!

  28. KicktheSticks says:

    I thought it was boring as hell. The performances, in general, were lackluster and people seemed disengaged. It’s like the seeing the same people recycled over and over and over. There was a lack of diversity in the genres represented by the live acts. No rock bands except U2? Who the hell wants to see U2 AGAIN? And their new song is boring and banal. They didn’t get any of the female nominees to perform. Why no Lorde? Or Lana Del Ray who I believe was also nominated? Who wants to see Gaga AGAIN? It’s like we are stuck watching the same dozen bands/artists be trotted out and people are sick of it.