The CBS-hosted 58th annual Grammy Awards may have easily swept the floor with anything else airing Monday night, but the show was the lowest-rated since 2009, with just under 25 million viewers tuning in to watch the music’s biggest awards show.
The 2016 Grammys came in just shy of last year’s ceremony, which had about 300,000 more viewers, but remained wildly-eclipsed by the awards ceremony’s high water mark of nearly 40 million viewers in 2012.
Ratings of the Grammys have been steadily declining in recent years, even with massive performances from some of the music world’s most popular artists. This year’s ceremony was emceed by actor/rapper L.L. Cool J, and featured live music from Adele, Taylor Swift, and an enthralling three-part feature from genre-busting rapper Kendrick Lamar.
But despite middling cable numbers for the show, CBS’s standalone streaming service, CBS All Access, boasted its biggest numbers ever on the night, with a 247 percent increase in streams, and a 192 percent increase in unique users from last year. Those numbers are reflective of a larger number of viewers who are viewing content online, rather that just on their TV sets. Unfortunately, there’s more bad news for CBS there: The massive increase in viewers only served to cause a litany of problems with the live stream, which the company had hoped would bolster its $6/month service.
Whether or not next year’s Grammys will see increased ratings largely has to do with the quality of music out this year. So far, so good; Awards-eligible releases from late 2015 and early 2016 include Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Adele’s 25 — and it’s worth noting that 2012’s record viewership occurred when Adele was raking up Grammys for her last record. There are also highly-anticipated albums expected to drop this year from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and Chance The Rapper, among others.
Be sure to take a look back at our full coverage from Monday’s Grammy Awards ceremony, and take a look at our list of excellent nominees from this year — many of whom took home golden gramophones earlier this week.