It turns out that you can’t just put a bunch of pop stars in a room together and expect ratings gold. Or, at least, you can’t do that anymore. The Dick Clark-created American Music Awards have been happening every year since 1973, and once upon a time, they were the main competition to the Grammys. But these days, they’re just another general-interest music awards show on a landscape that also includes the VMAs, the Billboard Music Awards, and the iHeartRadio Music Awards, among so many others. And the numbers certainly bear that out; the AMAs did their lowest-ever ratings last night.
On last night’s show, the AMAs had performances from people like Bruno Mars, the Weeknd, Sting, Green Day, and Maroon 5 and Kendrick Lamar. But that wasn’t enough to make any real dent. Last night, according to TV Ratings By The Numbers, the show drew a paltry 2.4 rating, down 31% from last year’s 3.5 and nearly as much from 2012’s all-time low of 3.4. If this show is going to keep going, producers are going to need to rethink the way they do things.