Welcome to the future, Grammys! Great to have you.
For the first time in the show’s history, it’s doing away with traditional ballots and switching over to online voting.
Very hip, Grammys. Nice move.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Recording Academy hopes the transition to online voting will bring new life to the voting process, while simultaneously increasing voter turnout among the younger demographic. After all, if you want today’s youth to pay attention to something, you’ve gotta incorporate technology, right?
Seems like a pretty chill plan.
This only affects voting members of the Recording Academy, who must have at least six credits on commercially released tracks.
In recent years, the awards have come under fire for making boring, traditional choices, and a perceived lack of diversity. These views intensified when artists like Kendrick Lamar and Beyonc failed to win the prestigious “Album of the Year” award, losing to Mackelmore, Taylor Swift, and Adele.
In fact, Frank Ocean decided not to submit his highly anticipated album, Blonde, for Grammy consideration in 2017 due to the awards’ outdated system.
Ocean told The New York Times, “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated. Id rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”
Though Bill Freimuth, the Academy’s senior VP of awards, told the LA Times there have been talks about making the switch from paper to online ballots for many years, there were a few concerns and technical issues to consider.
“We wanted to be sure our auditors at Deloitte were happy with their ability to still tabulate the ballots correctly,” Freimuth said. “Security was always a major issue, because it could become a target for hackers.”
But now that the proper security precautions have been taken, the Academy is ready to roll out the modern voting technique, which will hopefully provide more accurate polling with wider representation. All voting members will be allowed to cast votes online for the top four award categories: record, album, song, and new artist.
The 2018 Grammy Awards will mark the show’s 60th anniversary, so it seems like the perfect time to switch things up.