Perspective: The Grammy Awards

The award given on a show that has a viewership of less than .1 percent of the world's population.

So, Greg Sandow says the Classical Grammys don’t matter.  Ok, but my retort is that on the whole, the Grammys don’t matter.

Let’s put aside the issue that the Grammys are an awards ceremony for the American Recording Industry, which, on the whole, is a tiny blip on the recording industries in the world.

The 2012 Grammys were viewed by 46 million–a record breaking viewership (note that approximately 82 million watched the event at least in part).

The U.S. population is approximately 313 million, so 46 million viewers is (rounded up to the nearest percent) approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population.  The population of the world is approximately 6.996 billion.  So the viewership of the Grammys is less than .1 percent (.006) of the world’s population.

Less than .1 percent of the worlds population watched the U.S. Grammys.  Sandow states (on his facebook page) ‎”The Grammys don’t resonate — even though forty million people watched? That’s an extraordinary notion.”  Well, at .1 percent viewership, it would be an extraordinary notion to say the Grammys resonate!

Let’s look outside of the American Recording Industry at the Bollywood recording industry.  The Bollywood music awards has approximately 300 million viewers worldwide.  More than 6 times the “record-breaking” viewership of the Grammys (and more than 3 times the partial viewership of 82 million).

The Eurovision Song Contest, often touted as the most watched non-sporting event, has drawn up to 600 million viewers in over 35 countries.  That’s approximately .086 percent of the world’s population, and approximately 9 times the viewership of the 82 million partial viewership of the Grammys (more than 12 times the viewership of the 46 million number).

I think that using the relative lack of relevance that is the viewership of the Grammys to criticize the subset of Classical Grammys as a means to criticize the latter is disingenuous at best.  Even setting aside the fact that Classical music has never been a big recording industry in the American Recording Industry landscape (if the 3% average marketshare is any indication).  Though the fact that classical music leads in online participation (e.g. digital downloads or viewings) by 18% (cf. the next biggest online participation figure for Latin music at 15%) says that the Grammys are irrelevant for anything other than the bare numbers of the American recording industry that matters to, well, the American recording industry.

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