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BRIT Awards 2021 hit successful digital note

May 20, 2021
Published on:
May 17, 2021

Dua Lipa won Best Female Solo Artist and the Mastercard Album award at the BRITs 2021 Awards. Image source: John Marshall/JMEnternational

The BRIT Awards 2021 with Mastercard saw significant increases across social media activity for digital campaigns around the flagship UK music industry event. The BRIT Awards was also the first major indoor music event to welcome a live audience as part of the UK Government’s Event Research Programme (ERP).

The show broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub in the UK from The O2 arena in London on 11th May was hosted by Jack Whitehall and featured performances from Arlo Parks, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Elton John and Years & Years, Griff, Headie One, Olivia Rodrigo, Rag’n’Bone Man & P!nk with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Choir and The Weeknd. Of the 4,000 audience attending, 2,500 were key workers and their guests, with their tickets gifted by the BRITs.

From an extensive range of digital activities to promote the Awards, highlights included:

  • BRITs YouTube live stream (ex UK) watched by 1.7 million viewers (a 60% increase y-o-y) – over 15 million views accumulated after 48 hours
  • BRITs Red Carpet Live Show achieved over 800,000 views on Twitter, TikTok & YouTube – the first time it has been broadcast on multiple platforms
  • Twitter peaked at 20,000 tweets per minute during the show
  • Over 11 million views of show day content on TikTok
  • Record event day engagement on Instagram with 2 million Likes of Instagram content on show day (a 125% increase y-o-y)

Among the biggest winners of the Awards was Dua Lipa (pictured), who was presented with Female Solo Artist as well as the highly coveted Mastercard Album award for her No. 1 album, 'Future Nostalgia'.

London artist Arlo Parks (pictured below) was crowned Breakthrough Artist, and performed her debut BRITs performance in a set decorated as a sunflower field  in a nod to the name of her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams.

2021 BRITs Breakthrough Artist Arlo Parks. Image source: John Marshall/JMEnternational

The most nominated girl band in BRITs history, Little Mix, won British Group, with the International Group category going to California’s HAIM. International Female Solo Artist was Billie Eilish.

This year’s Rising Star award winner was Griff - who performed her song, ‘Black Hole’.

Taylor Swift also appeared in person to accept the special Global Icon award,  presented by 'Game of Thrones' actress Maisie Williams.

Other winners included The Weeknd (International Male Solo Artist) and Harry Styles, who won Best Single with MasterCard for 'Watermelon Sugar'.

Performances and highlights are available now on The BRITs’ official YouTube channel.

Non-UK viewers were able to watch the main show exclusively via YouTube for the eighth consecutive year. Chelcee Grimes and Arielle Free hosted the stream, which achieved over 1.7 million viewers, a 60% increase on the figure from 2020.

In total, over 900,000 tweets were recorded around the event, up 300,000 from last year.  The BRIT Awards trended No. 1 globally on the night on Twitter, and took eight of the Top Ten hashtags in the UK during broadcast.

The BRITs’ Instagram account – which hosted exclusive backstage portraits of winners as taken by acclaimed portrait photographer Danny Kasyire – achieved 2 million likes of show content on the day, a 125% increase y-o-y, with their Instagram Stories reaching 12.9 million views, again over double the engagement from 2020’s show.  

Innovation was also present in Mastercard's newly created audio connected LED facemasks which react in real time to music to share with fans, influencers and press. BRITs host Jack Whitehall was the first to try out the new technology and share the news with his 2.5million followers. For UK and Ireland music lovers, the limited edition accessory will be available via Priceless.com on 20th May.

Based on just two days consumption and with further increases likely, overall uplift across winners and performer physical and digital (all platform) album sales was +15.6%, while streams across tracks by performers increased by 18.7%. Arlo Parks’ album Collapsed in Sunbeams enjoyed a93% sales increase, and The Weeknd’s After Hours album increased sales by 41%.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards said: “The significant increases in digital engagement across all BRITs channels confirm that the performances in front of invited key workers, and the live excitement of the night, really connected with the public. We are delighted at the success of this year’s digital campaign.

The BRIT Awards 2021 digital campaign was led by Kate Wyn Jones, Business Development Director at EMI Records and BPI Director of Digital Giuseppe De Cristofano who jointly co-chair The BRIT Awards 2021 Digital Committee  working with content agency Somethin’ Else led by Exec Producer Zosia Morris and Senior Producer Darren Struwig.

More at www.bpi.co.uk

Image source: John Marshall/JMEnternational

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