Music Industry

Which is Better for Music Sales: An Appearance at the Super Bowl or the Grammys?

If you want people to know about your music, you have to get it in front as many people as possible. So which event has more impact: the Super Bowl or the Grammy Awards?  Billboard takes a look.

Even though record label executives tend to choose the Super Bowl halftime show as the most powerful marketing tool in Billboard’s annual Maximum Exposure issue, the event can be hit or miss in driving sales for the artist who perform there.

This year, Katy Perry has the honor of having all eyes on her, as she is expected to sing some of her big hit songs, with a little help from Lenny Kravitz along the way.

A look back at sales reveals that some artists have benefitted from the Super Bowl halftime event, like last year’s performer Bruno Mars. But Beyonce‘s performance in the 2012 Super Bowl didn’t yield as much in sales.

Nowadays, another big factor must also be taken into consideration: how many fans will go to YouTube or Spotify and stream Perry’s songs, all of which will generate revenue somewhere down the line — instead of buying CDs or downloads.

Because Christmas is right before the Super Bowl and the Grammys is right after, it’s sometimes hard to determine how much of a sales bump the Super Bowl itself is responsible for. Also, sometimes there are other drivers going on the same time as the Super Bowl, whether that be a tour,  a hit song on the radio, or some other television appearance that could be driving sales as well.

Continue reading. And while you’re at it, check out this related article that tracks Super Bowl appearances vs. sales from 1993-2014.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38053 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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