The televised portion of the 64th annual Grammys, which took place in Vegas on Sunday (April 3), was watched on the big night by 9.59 million viewers in the US.
That’s according to the latest numbers from Nielsen, which include everyone who watched the show live on TV via CBS and/or streaming platforms such as Paramount+, in addition to out-of-home viewers.
(Earlier figures from Nielsen, which omitted out-of-home viewers, suggested the show had an audience of 8.93 million.)
Nielsen’s 9.59 million number was up 3.9% on the previous year’s audience count (9.23m) according to the Hollywood Reporter.
But the most damning stat for the Grammys was, yet again, its pull amongst younger viewers.
According to Nielsen’s figures (including out-of-home viewers), just 2.24% of 18-49 year-old TV watchers in the US tuned in to the Grammys 2022 on Sunday.
That percentage figure was actually slightly down on the 2.28% of this demographic who watched the Grammys show in the previous year.
(To explain: Nielsen has put a 2.24 ‘rating’ on the Grammys 2022 for an 18-49 year-old audience; this ‘rating’ indicates the percentage of all US TV-watching adults within this age bracket who caught the show.)
In other words, nearly 98% of 18-49 year olds in the States simply didn’t watch the Grammys on Sunday.
You don’t have to be a mathematical whizz to see that, even when you factor in all ages, the Grammys broadcast now reaches a tiny fraction of the US population.
The US population stood at 332.4 million in January, according to US government estimates,
The 9.59 million The figure cited by Nielsen for the Grammys audience in 2022 (across various platforms and in and out of households, remember) therefore represents just 2.9% of that overall population figure.
Or to put it another way, fewer than one in 34 US residents watched the Grammys on Sunday.
Another helpful piece of context: the biggest live-TV event of last year in the US was the Superbowl, which drew a telecast audience of 92.88 millionaccording to Nielsen ratings.
That was nearly ten times the size of the 9.59 million audience that the Grammys 2022 reach over the weekend.
Perhaps the most honest lens through which we should judge the Grammys 2022’s reach is simply by comparing it to past Grammy broadcasts.
According to Nielsen data, the 2020 Grammys (just two years ago) pulled in a live TV audience of 18.7 millionnearly double the size of the 2022 Grammys’ equivalent reach (8.93 million, the figure that doesn’t include out-of-home viewing).
The peak for the modern-day Grammys came in 2012 – a decade before Sunday night’s show – when 40 million viewers tuned in to the live ceremony on television (see chart below).
That year, performances came from the likes of Taylor Swift, Rihanna & Coldplay, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, and Adele.
Adele conquered the 2012 Grammys, winning Album Of The Year (21), Best Pop Vocal Album (21), Record Of The Year (Rolling In The Deep), Song Of The Year (Rolling In The Deep), and Best Pop Solo Performance (Someone Like You).
The 2022 Grammys saw major victories for the likes of Jon Batiste (Album Of The Year), Silk Sonic (Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year), Olivia Rodrigo (Best New Artist), and Doja Cat & SZA (Pop Duo/ Group Performance).
Performances on the show came from the likes of Billie Eilish (and Finneas), Lady Gaga, BTS, Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow, Silk Sonic, Olivia Rodrigo and more.
The 64th annual Grammys were originally slated to be hosted in Los Angeles on January 31, 2022, but due to a surge in the Omicron variant of Covid, the Recording Academy postponed the event.
It was later rescheduled for the Las Vegas MGM Grand on April 3.