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"[Mumford & Sons] didn't win the two awards, but the performance swayed people. So, rather than basing any opinions on what voters thought, these are fans."
——Glassnote’s Jenna LoMonaco

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE: THE GRAMMY SPIKE IS IN EFFECT

Surprisingly Strong Ratings Followed by Upticks for Several Winners and Featured Performers
The music biz partied like it was 1999 on Monday, as unexpectedly good news started flooding in about slam-dunk Grammy ratings (see Monday’s lead story) and dramatic sales spikes triggered by the telecast.

The primary beneficiary was—and continues to be—Glassnote’s Mumford & Sons, who failed to win either Grammy they were nominated for, but whose thrilling performance in a sequence culminating with an appearance from Bob Dylan brought to mind the Bard’s immortal line in “The Times They Are A-Changing”: “For the loser now will be later to win.”

According to Glassnote, Sigh No More had sold 31k digital units through Sunday night at the iTunes Store, where it rocketed to #1, as it also did at Amazon MP3. That total trumps the 25k Mumford & Sons sold altogether in the week leading up to the Grammys.
"The Cave," Mumford’s current single, which the group performed Sunday night, moved up exactly 100 positions to #8 on iTunes' singles chart as of Monday afternoon. Going into Grammy week, Sigh No More had sold a total of 766k in the U.S. in its 46 weeks of release, consistently gaining from one week to the next.

"What's significant is that this was just a performance," Jenna LoMonaco, Glassnote's head of new media, told the L.A. Times. "They didn't win the two awards, but the performance swayed people. So, rather than basing any opinions on what voters thought, these are fans."

The banjo-flailing Brits led a charge at iTunes, Amazon and other digi-retailers that also included improbable Album of the Year winners Arcade Fire—some of the new downloads of The Suburbs and its key tracks possibly purchased by TV news anchors like The Today Show’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera, who admitted on the air Monday morning that they’d never heard, or heard of, the indie-rock sensations.

Five-megaphone winners Lady Antebellum and Best New Artist upset winner Esperanza Spalding are also benefiting from post-Grammy sales action. Chamber Music Society, the latest from Spalding , had sold 31k pre-Grammys, and it’ll be interesting to see how much sales and chart action it generates in the show’s aftermath.  

For perspective’s sake, Taylor Swift’s Feasrless experienced a 58% sales jump after last year’s show, while Pink’s high-wire act led to a massive 235% increase for Funhouse. Herbie Hancock's River: The Joni Letter, the 2007 left-field Album winner, which had sold just 61k units prior to the telecast, moved 54k during the week following the Grammys. In the four years leading up to 2009, SoundScan reported that week-over-week post-Grammy sales increases grew from 10% to 17%.

"The gap between momentary attention and fan engagement has never been more apparent," BigChampagne’s Eric Garland told the Times. "The biggest stars in the sky—Gaga, Bieber, Rihanna—dominated the web chatter. But the real winners were those who stood to gain the most: the Arcade Fire and Spalding, with huge percent sales gains."

About 26.6 million people tuned in to the Grammy telecast, a 2.5% increase over last year's program and the largest audience since the 2000 show, which drew 27.8 million viewers. In the key 18-to-49 demographic, the program had its strongest ratings since 2004.

The numbers are indicative of the appeal of live events, Times reporters Todd Martens and Joe Flint noted in their Calendar section front-page story Tuesday morning. Awards shows have made a strong comeback in recent years. Some credit Twitter, which give viewers the ability to riff while the show is airing, as a factor in the renewed interest in live awards shows.

In the case of the Grammys, this doesn’t extend to the West Coast, however, as the Recording Academy and CBS insist on a three-hour delay so that the telecast doesn’t begin until 8 p.m. PST, following network news and 60 Minutes—unlike the Oscars and other L.A.-emanating shows, which are aired live. Hopefully, this backward thinking will be altered in the future.
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