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February 22, 2024

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Award shows spur music, film sales

After a film wins an Oscar or an artist wins a Grammy, audiences are expected to grow in response to the exposure from the award broadcasts.

When the Feb. 13 Grammys honored the best in music, consumers bought albums in response to the winners, nominees and performers at the event.

“I think the Grammys bring (artists) exposure to a new audience,” said Laura Fredericks, the manager of Finders Records in Bowling Green. “Some people may have kind of heard of the artist, but the Grammys will spark their interest.”

With this year’s Grammy viewership at its highest in a decade according to Nielsen ratings, the awards showcased the most popular artists along lesser-known critically acclaimed ones to millions watching the show. The night’s most prestigious award, Album of the Year, went to Canadian rock group Arcade Fire over famous acts such as Eminem and Lady Gaga.

The Grammys are an easy way to grant artists mass exposure and help broaden their listener base, said Finders clerk Erica McClure.

“They expand the age group,” she said. “My mom wouldn’t have known who Arcade Fire was before the Grammys.”

Award shows help increase sales and audience awareness of unknown independent acts, Fredericks said. Specifically, she pointed to folk group Mumford and Sons as an example of consumers’ increased awareness of an artist.

Billboard stated digital sales of the group’s debut album, “Sigh No More,” increased after the group’s Grammy performance. The album rose to No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, posting a 99 percent sales increase from the previous week.

Sales of the album rose at Toledo’s Culture Clash Records following the broadcast, said owner Pat O’Connor.

“We had kids and grandpas picking up the album,” he said.

Although Mumford and Sons did not win any Grammys, O’Connor said the band still made an impact on Culture Clash customers.

“I don’t think it’s based on whether they won,” he said. “It’s the way they present themselves. A band’s overall presentation convinces people to buy their music.”

Arcade Fire’s album, “The Suburbs,” is experiencing a similar rise in sales.

“Before the Grammys, Arcade Fire was kind of a college band, but afterward we had people of all ages pick (the album) up,” O’Connor said.

He said the band was an underdog in the Album of the Year race and its surprise win helped the album fly off Culture Clash’s shelves.

For independent stores like Finders and Culture Clash, this year’s Grammys helped to spur sales since independent artists won so many awards. Comparatively, mainstream artists do not sell as well at these stores.

“We lost the pop music market to Best Buy and Target,” O’Connor said. “Whenever we have a spotlight on artists out of the mainstream, it helps our sales.”

While Finders sells albums from mainstream artists, the Grammys have a bigger sales effect when they honor unknown talent.

“A lot of the artists on the Grammys are pop and R&B,” Fredericks said. “We already sold a lot of Lady Gaga. The Grammys don’t help push our sales of Lady Gaga.”

It’s not just the Grammys that affect consumer trends. Sue Wilkins, co-owner of Video Spectrum, said Sunday’s Academy Awards inspire customers to see nominated films before the show.

“People are very well aware of what’s up for Best Picture,” she said. “They go for all of them.”

“The King’s Speech,” “Inception” and “The Kids Are All Right” are regularly rented by customers in preparation for Sunday, Wilkins said. She said customers watch nominated films in order to accurately judge the winners and losers of the awards.

Oscar exposure helps films find a wider audience than they would without nominations or wins, Wilkins said. “I think if it’s won an Oscar, it’s going to be viewed,” she said. “People will also see a movie when they know what the actors in it are known for.”

Cultural awareness of films increases due to media exposure, Wilkins said.

“There are so many entertainment shows like ‘E! News’ that are keeping people aware of movies,” she said.

Film-savvy students at the University help to keep Video Spectrum running, Wilkins said.

“We have popular culture classes over there, and I think they make kids more aware of movies and directors,” she said.

Wilkins said students were even familiar with the Feb. 13 British Academy Film Awards, which showed the impact any award show can have on film rentals.

Students who patronize from Video Spectrum and work in the store are filled with knowledge about the films and a great passion for them, Wilkins said.

“Most kids run circles around me with what they know,” she said. “Kids working here just love movies.”

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