Feb 6, 2023 - Economy

Grammys ratings jump, but figures still far behind pre-pandemic era

Host Trevor Noah speaks onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Host Trevor Noah speaks onstage during the 65th Grammy Awards at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

At least 12.4 million people tuned into the 65th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, marking a much-needed bounce-back from pandemic-era viewership lows, according to early estimates from Nielsen.

Why it matters: The show, which aired live on CBS and Paramount+, "did not aspire to reinvent the wheel of the Grammys in any way," Variety chief music critic Chris Willman, noted. But a number of upbeat performances and "firsts" helped put the show back on the radar of millions of Americans.

  • Beyoncé broke the record for the most-awarded Grammy artist of all time with 32 wins. Viola Davis became the 18th person ever to receive an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award with her win Sunday.

Details: Ratings were up 30% compared to last year, Paramount said in a statement.

  • The show reached its largest live-streaming audience in history across Paramount+ and other CBS platforms, the company added.
  • It drew just 8.8 million viewers in 2021 and 9.6 million in 2022. More than 18 million tuned into the show in 2020 before the pandemic-driven lockdowns began. Nearly 40 million people tuned into the show during its peak in 2013.
  • Comedian Trevor Noah hosted the show for the third time in a row this year at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

The big picture: Award shows saw huge viewership declines during the pandemic, but have slowly started to regain some of their lost viewership.

  • Still, the decline of award show audiences has pushed award show organizers to begin putting their productions on streaming services.
  • Netflix said last month it will televise the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The Academy of Country Music Awards left CBS for Amazon in 2021.

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