This weekend is the music industry’s biggest weekend. Or is it? Do people really care about The Grammys right now? They certainly didn’t care about the Golden Globes.
All of the typical tentpole moments in cultural marketing (NBA All-Star Weekend, SXSW) feel like one long Blurrrrrrrsday. It’s almost impossible to make these events connect without a physical presence.
On the other hand, you have an interview with Megan Markle and Prince Harry cutting through the mainstream like a knife to dominate culture. This was truly a watercooler moment and it shows the world will still gravitate to something, especially if it has a social justice component.
In my opinion, the reasons the Grammy’s won’t resonate this year are manifold:
- Digital fatigue: I’m on screens all day. Watching more screens doesn’t feel that exciting.
- Grammys lack of innovation: Same old show with new variables. I wish this format was changed. I don’t care so much about celebrating old albums when there is so much new music dropping.
- The delay: Pushing things back a month and a half makes the albums in question even older. The Grammys are not moving at the speed of culture.
- Grammys are out of touch: Are these really the leaders in music? With the death of genres and the world shifting, it feels like the Grammys are still categorizing music in an older school mentality without a holistic view of the music industry of today.
- Lack of networking: Part of the magic of Grammy weekend is the chance to see friends and colleagues — to move an agenda forward — and the serendipity of all of these folks in the same city at the same time. Without that, the awards show holds much less gravitas.
- New music is more interesting: Every day, 60,000 new tracks are released on Spotify, with even more on YouTube. At this point, I’m much more connected to my algorithm-generated Release Radar playlist than what the academy votes on. I’m barely able to keep up, so it’s tough to focus on the stars of 2019.
There is of course room to innovate. There’s a call from within to reinvent the show; to base it more on data; to be more inclusive and cutting edge; to include the platforms and players that drive the industry beyond the household names and old boys n’ girls club. If it wasn’t clear before, Covid has made it clearer. This is a transformational time.
I think that’s why the NFT market is so exciting. There’s a chance to re-write the industry’s DNA, to put the power in the artist’s and fan’s hands. Maybe the same can be done with The Grammys?
But who are we kidding? It’s a Sunday night in semi-lockdown. I’m gonna watch, and so are you 🙂
Also published on Medium.