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  • 02.03.15

From Shazam To Snapchat To Live GIF-ing, Here’s How The Grammy Awards Stay Big, 57 Years Later

“Twitter and Instagram make the most sense when it comes to live and real-time engagement,” says Recording Academy CMO Evan Greene.

And the award this year for best social media performance during a music awards show goes to…

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Hang on there, even though there are only a few music awards shows we won’t know who pulled off the best social media performance during an event until at least after the Grammys on February 8. But The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys, is definitely vying for some props on that front.

“Every single year social media has changed and it’s up to us to set a new bar when it comes to social media and live events,” says Recording Academy CMO, Evan Greene. “We are at a point where text tweets aren’t enough to engage audiences anymore, there needs to be photos, GIFs, videos, and more.”

The Grammys’ social media presence amped up in 2008 and 2009 with the creation of its Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts, but has since expanded to nearly every viable platform–including Vine, Tumblr, Google+, Pintrest, Spotify, Rdio, and more. The turning point for the event’s social media stage, however, came in 2012 when the music awards show reached nearly 40 million viewers and 13 million social comments–eclipsing the Super Bowl on social engagement.

“Twitter and Instagram are the two platforms that make the most sense when it comes to live and real-time engagement, so we will be providing even more media rich and behind-the-scenes content,” says Greene.

Still, as the February 8 event approaches, The Recording Academy isn’t resting on its laurels. It will try and utilize as many social services as it can, specifically targeting each one’s primary strength. Here’s a breakdown of what that will look like on each platform:


  • Shazam: Each time a Grammy nominee is Shazaamed the week leading up to the telecast, the user will get a special in-app experience.

  • Snapchat: For the first time, there will be a special Grammy “Story” in Snapchat on February 8. Meaning all Snapchat users will easily be able to see videos being shot at the event, complete with a custom location based graphic.

  • Tumblr: Mr. GIF will live-GIF the show’s telecast for the second year and create GIF portraits of the Grammy winners backstage.

  • ThingLink: ThingLink will be used to create interactive and shareable content about various nominees. ThingLink is like VH1’s show Pop-up Video, but to give infographics more depth. Here’s one created for best country album category.

  • Instagram: There will be a backstage photo studio for Instagram pictures.

  • Facebook: Questions and answers will be highlighted for several artist nominees, including Lecrae, Robert Glasper, SOJA, Brandy Clark, and Robert Glasper.

  • Twitter: On the red carpet and backstage, Twitter will have its Twitter Mirror for artists to share pictures–at last year’s event, the Grammys became the first awards show to use the Twitter Mirror.

Part of the pressure The Recording Academy might be feeling to up its game in the social media space each year could be coming from other awards shows like MTV’s Video Music Awards or YouTube’s own Music Awards. YouTube tried to capture its huge audience by streaming a live, largely unscripted, event directed by Spike Jonze.

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Even though YouTube debuted it’s live streaming awards show in 2013 to a lackluster response, other awards shows born into a native Internet environment have the potential to gain a wider audience than one broadcast only on a little thing called TV.


YouTube is less of a threat this year as it won’t live stream any event, but will tweak its format to be a music focused take-over of the site for a day in March. The other reason for an increased social media presence might have to do with the challenge of keeping a one-day-a-year show on people’s mind for the other 364 days.

So will the Grammys win an award for best social media performance this year? If they do, it’ll be sweet music to the Recording Academy’s ears.

About the author

Tyler Hayes is a Southern California native, early technology adopter, and music enthusiast.

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