Grammy Awards bounce back 30% in viewership, marking biggest audience since 2020

The Grammy Awards are making a bit of a comeback Sunday’s broadcast of the 65th annual event drew 12.4M viewers across CBS broadcast and digital platforms, according to Fast Partners. This is up +30% from last year and the highest audience for the show since 2020.

Viewership is a much-needed boost for the show, which brought in just 8.93M viewers last year and failed to grow meaningfully year-over-year from 2021 to 2022. The 2021 show marked the Grammys’ least-watched ever, in line with every other major awards show hit since the pandemic began. The 2021 show was one of the first private live TV events during the pandemic and was a scaled-down affair with no audience.

However, this year’s telecast still had a fairly low audience compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Just for comparison, the 2020 show garnered 18.7M viewers in the final tally while the 2019 edition racked up 19.9M set eyes.

According to CBS, music’s biggest night also reached the largest live-streaming audience in history across Paramount+ and other CBS digital platforms, with viewership up 33%. On Paramount+, live viewership was up 42%.

Among those taking home the trophy on Sunday were Lizzo, Bonnie Raitt, Ozzy Osbourne, Kendrick Lamar, Willie Nelson, Adele, Sam Smith and Kim Petrus, Bad Bunny and more. See the full list of winners here.

Performances included a salute to hip-hop’s 50th anniversary that included a medley of such classics — performed by many of the originals — as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message,” Run-DMC’s “King of Rock,” LL. Cool J’s “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” Salt-N-Pepa’s “My Mic Sounds Nice,” Eric B & Rakim’s “Eric B. Is President,” Public Enemy’s “Rebel Without a Pause,” Ice-T’s “New Jack Hustler,” Queen Latifah’s “Unity,” Wu-Tang Group’s “Wu-Tang,” Outkast’s “Atilliance,” Jay-Z’s “Show Me What You Got,” Missy Elliott’s ” Lose Control”, Nelly’s “Hare Hot In” and Too Short’s “Blow the Whistle.”

Bad Bunny kicked off the show with a medley of “El Apagon” and “Despues La Playa,” Lizzo playing a medley from her album of the year candidate. special, Styles performed “As It Was” and Mary J. Blige performed her multi-nominated “Good Morning Gorgeous”. Smith and Petrus returned to play their Grammy-winning “Unholy” and Luke Combs performed “Going, Going, Gone.” Steve Lacy joined Thunderclap to perform his chart-topping smash “Bad Habits”.

Oscars 2022 had the second lowest viewership at 16.6M…remains to be seen how this year’s show will fare. In comparison, the 2022 Emmy Awards fell to another all-time low, drawing less than 6M viewers. The Golden Globes, which returned to the air this year after taking a year off amid the HFPA controversy, also dipped to a record low audience with just 6.3M people tuning in.

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