Roku: 2021 Grammy Awards Streaming Reach Increased, Viewership Decreased

After record low TV ratings in 2020, the 2021 Grammy Awards had nowhere to go but up, right? Right and wrong. New data from Roku ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) found that while this year’s show outperformed the 2021 Golden Globes and competing TV programs on March 14, there was a 16% drop in traditional linear-TV reach compared with 2020. Experts contend ACR data from smart TVs is the only way to get accurate measurement on what people are watching.

Roku estimates that the 2021 Grammy Awards reached approximately 52% more people 18+ via traditional linear TV compared with the 2021 Golden Globes.

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The annual music industry awards show saw the number of streaming channels distributing the event increase 28%, while total hours spent streaming decreased 22%. The difference indicates that viewers watched less of this year’s event compared to 2020.

Roku reported that migration from traditional linear-TV households to TV streaming increased 8% compared to last year. Streamers skewed younger, with a higher income relative to traditional linear-TV viewers for the 2021 Grammy Awards. Traditional linear TV-viewing homes were 19% more likely to contain someone 65 and older, compared with streamers. Streaming households were 5% more likely to contain someone 18 to 49 and 7% more likely to contain someone 25 to 34, compared to traditional linear TV homes.

Roku found that traditional linear-TV households were 15% more likely to have household income less than $25,000, while TV streaming households were 10% more likely to have household incomes higher than $100,000. Traditional linear-TV homes were also 50% more likely to be African-American and 14% more likely to be Hispanic.

Finally, TV streaming audiences got older, with the share of 18- to 34-year-olds who streamed the Grammys declining by 7%, while the share of 65 and older who streamed the show increased by 12%.

Roku said 16% of active ACR-enabled Roku TV households tuned in to the Grammy Awards via traditional linear TV; the next most-watched events of the day were college basketball games (9%) and “American Idol” (7%).

There was a high degree of overlap between those who viewed the Grammys on traditional linear TV and top network programs, with 46% of 2021 traditional linear-TV Grammy Awards viewers also watching “The Big Bang Theory” in the past two weeks.

Other traditional linear-TV programs with more than 40% overlap in the past two weeks include college basketball, “The Simpsons,” “The Voice,” and “Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special.”

Compared to last year’s Grammys, 2021 traditional linear-TV viewership among users with an ACR-enabled Roku TV saw an increase in African-Americans while skewing slightly older and lower income overall. About 23% of traditional linear TV-viewing households were African-American, which represents a 26% increase from 2020.

In 2021, half of the traditional linear TV-viewing households contained someone age 18 to 34, and 77% contained someone 18 to 49. The share of viewing homes with someone 18 to 34 decreased by 9% since 2020, while the share of viewing households with someone 65+ increased 15% year-over-year. The percentage of homes with a household income less than $25,000 increased by 18%, while the percentage of homes with a household income exceeding $100,000 decreased 7% from a year ago.