Friday, February 10, 2006


According to Bloomberg, this year's broadcast of the Grammys brought the lowest audience in the 33 years that it has been broadcast. CBS garned only 17 million viewers for its telecast. The highest numbers for the Grammys came in 1984 with 51.7 million viewers, though it should be noted that in 1984, network audiences far outweighed cable subscriptions.

American Idol, on the other hand, picked up 28.7 million viewers.

Most people didn't even know that the Grammys were on. The poor showing indicates the disconnect that is growing even wider between the recording industry and the consumer. For all the vaunted artistry of those who won an award, most people are listening to something else. Add the way the RIAA has attacked and alienated music fans for downloading to the mix, and the recording industry has a big old mess on their hands.

The recording industry has been baffled by falling sales. They've pointed the finger at the downloaders and blaming them for killing an industry that was already limping on its last legs. Just one look, though, at the big winners of last night show that talent-wise, the recording industry has hit rock bottom. Small wonder that few people want to watch a group of overpaid celebs with marginal talent pat each other on the back as they celebrate their mediocrity.

The fact that a show like American Idol firmly trounced the music industry's biggest event of the year only goes to show that America is looking more towards unknown and unproven talent to replace the vaunted style-over-substance media darlings that saturate our culture now (U2 anyone?).

Sure there were talented people at the Grammys last night, like John Legend and Stevie Wonder. But they were the exception, rather than the rule.

One of the supreme ironies of the night was the fact that the audience who helped propel Kelly Clarkson to fame wasn't watching as she accepted her two Grammys.


At 1:11 AM, Blogger The Val Blog said...

Goodness!!! it's been ages since I looked forward (or purposely waited) for the Grammy's to air. I'm trying to remember a time when I was interrested in "who won" in the Grammys...

I guess it didn't matter to me if the artist I was (is) listening to would be grammy material. =o)

Now I remember!!! "Proof" from Pat Metheny!! Didn't watch the telecast...but I was glad that it won. =o)


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