The move is the result of the Oscars chasing the Grammys out of their usual airdate.
The eligibility year for the 62nd annual Grammy Awards will close Aug. 31, one month earlier than it has in each of the past nine years. The change is the result of next year’s Grammy telecast being moved up two weeks to Jan. 26, 2020. That change was made so the Grammys wouldn’t go head-to-head with the 92nd annual Academy Awards, which moved up two weeks to the Grammys’ intended airdate of Feb. 9, 2020.
This is only the second time in 44 years that the end of the Grammy eligibility year has been moved up from its traditional Sept. 30 cut-off. This also happened in 2009, when the eligibility year also closed on Aug. 31. The adjustment was made that year because the Grammy telecast was moved to Jan. 31, 2010, to avoid competing with the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
In the past decade, the Grammy telecast has moved to January two more times — 2014 (Jan. 26) and 2018 (Jan. 28) — again to avoid conflicting with the Winter Olympics. The eligibility year wasn’t adjusted in those two years, however. The resulting truncated schedule is known to be punishing for Recording Academy staffers, who operate on a tight timetable in the best of times.
This year’s change means, of course, that this Grammy eligibility year will consist of just 11 months: Oct. 1, 2018, to Aug. 31, 2019. That was also the case in 2009.
Recordings released after Aug. 31 will be eligible for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards.
As a result of this change, we’re less than three months away from the date (June 24) when voting members can submit recordings for consideration online by logging into their member accounts.
Last September, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced that they were moving the date of their 2020 Oscar telecast up by two weeks, from the previously announced Feb. 23 to Feb. 9. No entertainment award show can compete head-to-head with the Oscars, the granddaddy of all award shows.
The Grammy eligibility year has ended on Sept. 30 since 1976, except for the two exceptions cited above.
The Recording Academy will notify voting members and registered media companies of the change in the eligibility year by email today.