Here’s a fun little fact about Twitter you might not know: Music is the No. 2 subject discussed on the social networking site in the U.S., according to the site’s Head of Music Tatiana Simonian.
On Grammy night some 14 million tweets went out on Twitter about the awards show, while some 28 million people were watching from home. Moments that caught the attention of fast fingers included the Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and The-Dream win for best rap collaboration (116,400 tweets per minute), Rihanna’s “Stay” performance (114,800 TPM) and Prince’s appearance to announce Record of the Year (109,400 TPM), which went to Gotye for “Somebody That I Used to Know.”
But remember the days when there was no Twitter? When you just sat and watched. Not the case anymore, but why? Why does this social media platform and music mix so well?
“Twitter is the next best thing to backstage and the Grammys are a perfect example,” explains Simonian. “Fans know if they want to see what the biggest stars are wearing before they get out of their limo, who they’re hanging with backstage and what’s going on at the after-parties — that Twitter is the only place where you can see this.”
About four times the number of tweets were sent out during the 2013 Grammys than the year prior. “Twitter has become the watercooler where people discuss TV and now we’re entering a new phase where Twitter is the place people go to experience big TV moments,” says Simonian of the site’s “huge” increase in tweets this year. “Not only do fans and artists at home love watching the Grammys, they love to participate. Twitter provides a way for all of us to be a part of the Grammys — to be in the front row of music’s biggest night.”
Other events like the Super Bowl, especially Beyonce’s halftime show this year, and the MTV Video Music Awards, also bring on an influx of tweets.
“It’s not an apples to apples comparison — shows take place over different durations; different TV audience size; different live/tape delay; etc — all I can say for sure is that all of these music events see really noticeable surges in Twitter conversation,” says Simonian. “There’s an appetite for music on Twitter: 50% of all active Twitter users follow at least one musician. Twitter is truly a music lover’s best friend.”