The Grammy Effect

Written February 21st, 2014 by
Categories: Music Industry


For musicians attempting to break into the recording industry in a serious way, it is a bitter irony that selling a lot of albums is easiest once you’ve already sold a lot of albums. Success begets success and that is perhaps one of the biggest lessons we learn from the Grammys.

“The Grammy Effect,” Continues to Remind Us of the Recording Industry Catch-22

The Grammys are the biggest awards ceremony for music and only the biggest and the best are a part of the festivities. While categories do consider rookie superstars, you’re not going to see Tom Neighborly, (the incredibly talented singer/songwriter from your local bar’s open mic night), anywhere near that stage. It’s a ceremony for those at the top, and they are the ones who benefit.

However, the internet has done wonders to open up the musical market for those who might have never have had a chance otherwise though, because it has become so much easier for an artist to distribute his or her work to the masses. Artists like Justin Bieber and Lorde jumpstarted their careers using the internet and even established mega stars like Beyonce nod with respect to its power. The word-of-mouth capability the web brings to undiscovered musicians and bands allows their music to spread quickly and dramatically.

In addition, the web is also causing traditional album sales to fall annually. However, there’s still an inherent prejudice against those just starting out. Most digital sales still occur because people are buying already-popular music. As a matter of fact, a huge portion of Grammy bump sales occur online. In 2011, Mumford and Sons reaped the benefits of a 133% increase in digital sales (through iTunes and other such programs) during the week after the Grammy’s.

Okay, then, so the formula seems to be: Make millions, get to the Grammy’s. Get to the Grammy’s, make millions?


Among those artists that can expect a Grammy’s sales boost this year are:

Daft Punk
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Bruno Mars, and
Michael Buble

However, at least things have improved somewhat. If Tom Neighborly establishes a solid web following then, maybe next year, Tom; maybe next year.

Leave a reply