Maybe The Grammys’ Performance-Heavy Strategy Actually Worked?

mariasci | February 9, 2009 11:00 am

As of right now, 20 of the 25 entries on Google’s Hot Trends list—which tracks the “fastest-rising search queries in the U.S.”—are about music. And all of them seem to be Grammy-related: “blink 182 back together,” “m.i.a. pregnant,” “static major,” “raising sand,” and so on. Look back at, say, Sept. 8, the day after the VMAs, and there are only four music-related search terms, surrounded by the usual mix of politics, sports, and TV stories. Does that mean, then, that the Grammys’ seemingly ridiculous strategy of only televising ten awards and filling the rest of the telecast’s three and a half hours with live music actually made people interested in music?

This strategy seemed to draw more attention to the winners whose award presentations were televised—there are a decent number of search queries for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand above—while the emphasis on performers, especially younger ones, seemed to make people more interested in current talent than they might have been otherwise. You see interest in M.I.A., Static Major, Adele, Blink-182, Sugarland, and, uh, Chris Brown. Compare that to last year’s post-Grammy hotlist, which doesn’t seem to have anyone under 50 and even includes searches for “how old is tina turner” and “how old is cher.” If no one actually cares about the Grammys as awards, maybe people do still care about seeing people perform new music.

Google Trends: February 9, 2009 [Google]