Last night’s iteration of the Grammys was exceptionally grim — one might even call it a “sad, fraught, fucked-up night of television” — and apparently this year’s ratings were pretty bleak, too. Viewership continued to slip from recent years, and though it wasn’t the worst showing of the Grammys ever — that record is still held by 2006’s installment — the awards ceremony did hit a specific new low point. It might just make you question all that “Music’s Biggest Night” business.
As the Wrap reports, the Grammys only hit a 5.4 rating among the 18-49 year old demographic. That’s the worst ever in this demo, but it’s also a milestone the Grammys have hit each year in recent times — 5.4 was down from last year’s 5.6, which at the time was a record low after 2018’s 5.9. Overall, the show had 18.7 million viewers, which is down six percent from last year but still doesn’t sink down to 2006’s 17 million.
Maybe it’s because people, especially young people, don’t really crowd around the TV for big communal experiences anymore; it’s not all that surprising that once-monolithic live TV events are shrinking. Or, you know, maybe it’s because the Grammys are notoriously tedious and bad and young people have better things to do with their time before society collapses. Maybe part of the reason the Grammys gave all four major awards to Billie Eilish was in an effort to win back the kids. Good luck with that.