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GRAMMY PROGRAM BOOK ARTICLES


The following articles appeared in the Official Grammy Program Book in 2000 and 2001. Here are excerpts with the permission of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.

THE GRAMMY WEBCAST
by David Schwartz


What just five years ago was seen as a novel experiment to give surfers a behind-the-scenes taste of all things GRAMMY-related, has now moved to center stage — or at least to the center of the backstage press area. Now, while the couch-based spectators around the world watch three hours of high impact linear entertainment, the quickly growing legions of mouse potatoes will be clicking and dipping into a wealth of sounds, sites, bites and buried treasures spread over five exciting days of live GRAMMY Webcast.

"This year we expect over 10 million people to tune in to the GRAMMY Website, and to log 200 million hits," says Chris Andrews, the Recording Academy's unofficial Mayor of Cyberspace. "The audience has just about quadrupled every year since we began Webcasting the GRAMMYs five years ago."...

...The history of the GRAMMY Webcast also tells the story of the evolution of on-the-spot multimedia journalism and on-the-fly production. Andrews' responsibility as director of business development for the Recording Academy, as well as Executive Producer of the GRAMMY Webcast, has been, simply put, to conceive the vision and develop the reality. Facing both a daunting challenge and an extreme opportunity, Andrews knows that this year the Webcast takes its largest step forward.

"A couple of years ago we learned how to have writers and photographers really express what was happening on-site," says Andrews, "and also have microphones and cameras tell people what was going on. The next major milestone was when the Webcast got accepted by the artists themselves, where they now look forward to it as part of their overall experience when they get nominated for a GRAMMY."





THE GRAMMY WEBCAST
by David Schwartz


What just five years ago was seen as a novel experiment to give surfers a behind-the-scenes taste of all things GRAMMY-related, has now moved to center stage — or at least to the center of the backstage press area. Now, while the couch-based spectators around the world watch three hours of high-impact linear entertainment, the quickly growing legions of mouse potatoes will be clicking and dipping into a wealth of sounds, sites, bites and buried treasures spread over five exciting days of live GRAMMY Webcast...

...The history of the GRAMMY Webcast also tells the story of the evolution of on-the-spot multimedia journalism and on-the-fly production.

Chris Andrews’ responsibility has been, simply put, to conceive the vision and develop the reality. Facing both a daunting challenge and an extreme opportunity, Andrews knows that this year the Webcast takes its largest step forward.

...Last year, the Webcast expanded its reach with celebrity “correspondents” Monica and Clint Black, who both wrote online GRAMMY.com diaries, and as the Net continues to grow as an important communications tool for artists, even more will visit “Webcast Central” this year for live chats and interviews.

This year’s online highlights include comprehensive nominee information, a greater wealth of streaming audio and video, a live cybercast of the nominee press conference, celebrity chats and rich historical content detailing past winners, video clips of great GRAMMY moments, and an inside look at the awards process and production.

For 2000, the GRAMMYs continue a partnership forged with IBM for last year’s Webcast. The 1999 GRAMMY Webcast marked IBM’s debut into the entertainment Webcasting arena. It made a compelling addition to IBM’s extensive portfolio of highly trafficked Websites for high-profile events, which include numerous major golf tournaments, the four Grand Slam tennis championships and the Olympic Games.

Talk about clout on the Internet. IBM’s Website for the Nagano Olympics set a record for “hits” — 650 million in 16 days. The Guinness Book of Records actually recognized IBM for the “Most Popular Internet Site Ever Recorded” and the “Most Internet Hits on an Internet Site in One Minute,” and the company recently extended that run of success with another triumphant Webcast of golf’s Ryder Cup.

...It may be the perfect partnership: IBM produces the biggest Internet sporting event productions and the Academy hosts the premier music awards event in the GRAMMYs.

“IBM is the most capable partner we could have chosen for the Webcast,” says Andrews of the relationship with IBM. “The Recording Academy creates the content. We have the photographers, the writers; and then the infrastructure and the technology is IBM’s.”






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