For the first time ever, Grammy voters for the 2018 awards show will cast their votes online, instead of with paper ballots. The Recording Academy hopes the swap will increase voter turnout and encourage younger members to vote, the LA Times reports.
The new online ballots will also give eligible voters the option to listen to the songs that have been nominated, as a way of encouraging voters to actually listen to the artists they’re voting for, BuzzFeed News reports.
One of the most common criticisms of the music awards show — from both artists and fans — is that it’s out-of-touch. The night’s biggest awards often seem to go to the most popular or recognizable artists, frequently snubbing critic- and fan-favorites. In 2014, Mackelmore’s The Heist won Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid M.A.A.D. City — a snub that even Mack saw fit to publicly and dramatically apologize for. Last year, after Adele’s 25 won Album of the Year, she said, “My album of the year is Lemonade,” referring to Beyoncé’s critically adored visual album. Frank Ocean chose not to submit his album Blonde for Grammy nomination last year, telling The New York Times, “I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated.”
According to BuzzFeed News, the Recording Academy hopes that if its younger members turn out to vote online, the awards might more accurately reflect the listening habits of younger generations.
"There may be certain genres within our awards categories where the demographic that tends to participate in making that particular music might be more tech savvy in general, or might have more of a mobile lifestyle than certain other genres, and we think this might appeal to those folks,” Recording Academy VP Bill Freimuth told BuzzFeed News.
The internet has been proven to appeal to a lot of folks. The 60th Grammy Awards are scheduled to take place on January 28th, 2018 in New York City.