Speed Reads

2021 Grammys

Grammys viewership plunges to an all-time low

The ratings for the 2021 Grammy Awards won't exactly be music to CBS' ears.

The Grammys, which aired Sunday on CBS, drew an average of just 8.8 million viewers, The Los Angeles Times reports. That's easily the awards show's smallest audience ever, and down about 10 million viewers from 2020's ceremony, The Wrap notes. The previous smallest Grammys audience of all time was 17 million viewers in 2006, according to the Times.

Sunday's Grammys saw Taylor Swift make history by becoming the first woman to win Album of the Year three times after taking home the award for Folklore, while Billie Eilish won Record of the Year for "Everything I Wanted" and Beyoncé officially became the most-awarded female artist in the history of the Grammys. The ceremony, which had been delayed almost two months due to the pandemic, featured performances from artists including Swift and Eilish.

But the Grammys are just the latest awards show to suffer a drop in viewership, a trend that had been well underway before the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewership for last month's Golden Globes was jaw-droppingly low at 6.9 million, down from 18.3 million viewers the previous year. The 2020 Emmys also drew the show's smallest audience ever with 6.1 million viewers.

After the Oscar nominations were revealed on Monday, pundits are already bracing for next month's Academy Awards to similarly experience a massive decline in the ratings. In fact, The New York Times' Brooks Barnes pointed out that if the Oscars experienced a ratings decline roughly on par with that of the Grammys, the show would only draw about 10 million viewers, down from over 23 million last year.