The Grammy Effect

February 9, 2011  |  

by R. Asmerom

No other award show in the music industry holds quite the prestige of the Grammys. Though there is everything from the MTV Awards to the American Music Awards, the Grammys stand out as the Academy Awards of music. The show is not just a showcase of talent but a determining factor in the evolution of an artist’s career. After all, once a musician wins just one, the term “grammy-award winning artist” comes to forever precede his or her name.

Like most award shows, the Grammy Awards  is big business, for the producers as well as the nominated guests of honor. But just how much can the award boost the earnings of an artist? With the music industry struggling to reinvent its business model and fewer musicians being able to earn enough revenue from album sales, winning an award is more important than ever.

“These days, artists are not selling very many records anymore, unless they are huge names like Jay-Z and even then, most of the sales are digital online album sales,” said Josh Gair of Impact Entertainment, a talent agency which books celebrities for events worldwide. “When an artist wins a Grammy, there is usually a slight spike in albums sales but it is usually not a long term effect.” An artist can expect a 10 percent boost in album sales according to Gair, which is good news for the record label on the receiving end. Considering that most, if not all, artists generate the bulk of their earnings via tours and appearances, the exposure from winning or even being nominated for a Grammy allows them to command a bigger performance fee.

“The more popular they become, the more money they earn,” said Gair. “When Rihanna won her first Grammy, her fee went up a lot, from about $150,000 to $300,000.”

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