GRAMMYs turn to Twitter to announce 2015 nominees

In recent years, nominees for the most prominent, cross-genre GRAMMY Awards have been announced on a primetime CBS special, with popular artists like Taylor Swift, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Miguel, Keith Urban, and Lorde turning the nomination ceremony into a live concert performance. For its upcoming 57th season, the GRAMMYs, likely in attempt to keep up with evolving digital trends, made an adjustment to that formula, adapting the CBS broadcast into a holiday-themed concert special called A Very GRAMMY Christmas with only one award announcement: the prestigious Album Of The Year. As for the rest of the other 82 categories recognized by the Recording Academy committee, they were rolled out throughout the day on daytime television and radio properties and by a number of artists’ Twitter accounts.

Beginning at 8:30 AM Eastern, Pharrell and Ed Sheeran visited the set of CBS This Morning, announcing the nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Country Album, Best Urban Contemporary Album, and general field category Record Of The Year. Shortly thereafter, Ryan Seacrest announced the nominees for Best Pop Solo Performance. After announcing a few awards themselves on the @TheGRAMMYs Twitter account, announcement duties were turned over to popular artists such as Alanis Morissette and Jared Leto, as well as media personalities including Mario Lopez and Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell, all using Twitter’s native video function. A flurry of tweets from nearly twenty-five different outlets followed through 2:00 PM Eastern, at which point all of the nominations excluding Album Of The Year were posted on GRAMMY.com, which previously occurred at the close of the primetime nomination special.

This social media-fueled campaign is another step toward modernizing the awards process for the Recording Academy, in a field now expanding with awards shows from big players like MTV, Billboard, YouTube, and iHeartRadio that have taken advantage of creative social media usage. As Maura Johnston pointed out in the Boston Globe, MTV previously used Snapchat to preview this year’s Video Music Awards nominees, while Billboard partnered with Tumblr to provide nearly-instant GIFs of the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. By utilizing the well-followed accounts of popular media figures, the GRAMMYs are able to spread the news of their nominees across a much wider audience than could have been available through solely their own media channels.

On the other hand, the inability to pre-determine where nomination announcements were coming from made the hours-long process a bit difficult to follow at times. The official GRAMMYs Twitter account dutifully retweeted each announcement after it was made on Twitter, but attempting to find each tweet amidst the regular buzz and reaction of the Twitter newsfeed added a lot of noise to the stream. With no roadmap or direction from the GRAMMYs account itself, those interested had to wait for their account to retweet each announcement, then parse the tweet and watch the video announcement to get a grasp of the artists and songs nominated. While this was a great first step, the campaign could have potentially been improved if @TheGRAMMYs had laid out a timetable of which accounts would be making announcements and in what order. Additionally, regular announcements of who was announcing the next category’s nominees could have added potential followers for the artists and media personalities involved, as those interested would flock to their accounts in wait of the next batch of nominees.

The 57th GRAMMY Awards air on February 8, 2015 on CBS. A full list of the nominees is available here excluding Album Of The Year, which will be announced at the conclusion of tonight’s A Very GRAMMY Christmas CBS special.

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