Music Business

Is there a Billboard Music Awards bump?

We examine the effect of the Billboard Music Awards on the ceremony’s performing and non-performing artists.

by Rutger Ansley Rosenborg from Chjartmetric’s How Music Charts

On Sunday, the music world gathered at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs). The objective? Honor the elite artists who have found Billboard chart success from April 10, 2021, to March 26, 2022.

According to Billboard, “finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, and touring, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Luminate.”

We thought it would be interesting to examine what happens to those key fan interactions in the week running up to the awards ceremony — maybe a BBMA performance is more fruitful for artists than an actual award nomination. Or, maybe digital signals are constrained to the night-of or the day after. Our hunch? It depends on the artist.

The Performers

First, let’s set the stage. The BBMAs featured performances from Burna Boy, Latto, Florence + The Machine, Maxwell, Megan Thee Stallion, Morgan Wallen, Rauw Alejandro, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Silk Sonic.

Becky G also made her BBMA debut on the Xfinity stage on the heels of her new album ESQUEMAS while Ed Sheeran beamed in from Belfast, Northern Ireland, leading the list of BBMA performer-nominees with a spot in nine categories.

Miranda Lambert and Elle King performed their song “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” making Billboard history as the first collaboration by two women to top Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart in 30 years.

Travis Scott gave the crowd “Goosebumps” with his performance, becoming the first artist to have three songs debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in less than a year.

Of course, not every performer would go on to win and not every nominee was invited to perform.

The Non-Performers

Some of the big names who weren’t tapped to showcase their musical talent this time around included Taylor Swift, Drake, Doja Cat, The Weeknd, and Olivia Rodrigo.

Unsurprisingly, Taylor Swift is the most recognized female BBMA artist of all time and came into this year’s awards with a spot in seven categories, including Top Artist and Top Female Artist. The most recognized male BBMA artist of all time, Drake, has a jaw-dropping 30+ wins after last night. Taylor is not far behind though….

Doja Cat came into the night as a finalist in 14 categories, with her collaboration with SZA breaking in a new Top Viral song category. The Weeknd, meanwhile, was a finalist in 17 categories, with his Ariana Grande collaboration responsible for six of those spots.

A finalist in 13 categories, Olivia Rodrigo cemented her stratospheric rise with awards at the artist, track, and album level.

So, how’d it all shake out?

The Data

Fortunately, the Chartmetric app makes it easy to do this sort of analysis without much extra work.

  • First, use the search bar to find the artist you want to monitor.
  • Then, click Follow on their Artist Page. That artist is now in your Dashboard.
  • Navigate to your Dashboard and add some Custom Tags in order to separate out the BBMA artists from the artists you normally track.
  • From there, switch the toggle from the # icon to the % icon. Now your Dashboard is telling you who grew the most in the last week.
  • Start clicking the column headers to sort by different metrics and see who came out on top on each platform.

If you want to take it a step further, click the three vertical dots and export a CSV for ample Excel fun.

That’s exactly what we did, and we created a custom, interactive chart to visualize it for you. When you click on each column header to resort the table, you find….

  • Florence + The Machine, thanks in part to the well-timed release of a new album, had the highest follower growth across Spotify, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Deezer in the last week (5.27 percent) and the most engagement growthacross Shazam, Wikipedia, Pandora, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube in the last week (76.17 percent)
  • Burna Boy, meanwhile, grew most on playlists across Spotify, Apple, Deezer, and Amazon: 3.15 percent
  • Though we haven’t mentioned the multiple awards that performers like Rauw Alejandro and Morgan Wallen were up for at this year’s ceremony, it’s worth noting that Florence + The Machine weren’t nominated for any. Still, they managed to come first in follower growth (5.27 percent), first in engagement growth (76.17 percent), and fourth in playlist growth (1.71 percent)

  • Access interactive chart here
  • It just goes to show that it’s not all about winning. Engaging audiences is something that artists can do with or without a music award, so when attention rules, there’s nothing like a well-timed, multi-dimensional release campaign to amplify and sustain that attention.

    Click here to sign up for a free Chartmetric account. After a 7-day trial, you can decide whether you want to upgrade to Premium for $140/mo or our new Artist Plan, which starts at $10/mo.

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