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WTF?! INDUSTRY UPROAR OVER GRAMMY CHANGE

The biz is in an uproar over the suddenly announced 8/31 Grammy eligibility deadline and corresponding change in the voting window, which all agree will be hugely disruptive.

Who in the lame-duck Grammy administration made this call? Did they realize (and did they care) what a seemingly unnecessary fire drill this would cause across the entire business? It's been the Recording Academy's M.O. to operate on its own agenda, regardless of its impact on the business.

With big Q4 releases typically planned for right before the traditional cutoff, the change throws a monkey wrench not only into release-date plans but whole artist cycles, including touring (much of it already routed), TV, press and more. With Europe completely checked out in midsummer, July and August are out for any kind of global release. Many labels and other decision-makers will elect to hold their releases over to the following year's eligibility, which creates further difficulties in staying top of mind.

The Recording Academy's stated rationale for the change—that the Grammy broadcast is moving to 1/26 so as not to conflict with the Oscars—is also causing some headscratching, since changes in air date haven't typically resulted in a different eligibility window. Some in the biz hypothesize that pending changes in the Academy's leadership are the real reason, and that Grammy is giving itself an additional cushion of time to adjust. How will this affect the field of contenders? Stay tuned. 

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