The 2019 Grammy Awards on February 10, 2019, brought in a great boost of sales and on-demand streaming for the artists and songs performed. Nielsen Music reports that the performed songs led collectively to a 480% increase in digital download sales on Feb. 10, when compared to Feb. 9.
Music fans purchased and streamed their favorite songs from show’s 61st ceremony and their original versions, contributing to 71,000 downloads in total on the same day of the ceremony, up from 12,000 than the day before. Among the most profound increases was “Hard Place” by H.E.R (5,000 on Feb. 10; up 102,000%), “Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves (4,000; up 9,430), and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow”, the biggest seller of all Grammy-performed songs, with 14,000 downloads on the day of the show (up 229%).
Significant was also the all-star tribute performance to Dolly Parton performed by Kacey Musgraves, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton herself, selling collectively 6,000 downloads (compared to 1,000 downloads the previous day of the show; up 718%)
Arguably, no other award has a more instantaneous impact on its industry’s bottom line. Throughout the years, the Grammy awards and performances have been the reason for albums’ rise up the charts or have even made careers. Bonnie Raitt’s win of 1990 Album of the Year with “Nick of Time”, vaulted the disc to No. 1 and turned the singer into a pop-radio personality. This was Raitt’s first-ever Top 20 album!
Adele’s sophomore album, 21, turned into her first album in the top-charts, and established her as an international star. The album had sold 13 million copies internationally by the end of 2011, a number that was dramatically increased after Adele’s legendary six-Grammy sweep (730,000 copies’ sales in the week after the awards; up 207%), that broke Nielsen Sound-Scan’s history with the steepest post-Grammy sales total (from 1991 and on).
In 2016, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Awards, made a series of eligibility changes, accepting now also tunes released only in streaming form, and not just in physical form (as CDs, vinyl etc) or downloads. The change of an era was marked by the mixtape “Coloring Book” by Chance the Rapper, which was released at first exclusively on Apple Music and was the first album to chart on the US Billboard 200 only on streams, opening at No. 8. The album was the first streaming-only album ever to win a Grammy Award, with its 2017 Best Rap Album victory. It’s worth noting here that the academy considers as qualified streaming services “paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download platforms that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline.”
This is another sign that streaming plays the most important role in today’s music industry, reviving the overall global music scenery after 20 years of pain. In 2018, streaming contributed to 75% of the overall revenue for the record industry, making more than $3.4 billion dollars. Thanks to the continual growth of streaming platforms in terms of both subscribers and turnover (from 2015 to 2018 Spotify grew from 28 million paying subscribers to more than 88 million and Apple Music from 10 million to 56 million). There is a sense that streaming has formed a more democratic music industry, where everybody, from artists and labels, is profiting, and has completely revolutionized the way people consume music. In fact, Goldman Sachs forecasts that this kind of renaissance will progress, thanks to the boom in streaming in emerging countries that will vault the global music business from a value of about 60 billion dollars in 2017, to over 130 billion in 2030.
Music to our ears!