The viewership of the 94th Academy Awards was up by 56% as compared to the 2021 Oscars. However, it still remains the second-lowest rated show behind last year’s event.
The event on Sunday was viewed by over 15.36 million people in the US. A research study conducted by Nielsen revealed that the overall viewership and target demographic ratings for the 18-49 age group both witnessed an increase as compared to 2021.
The numbers come as a respite for the Academy, which has been grappling with a steady decline in Oscars viewership from 2014. The 2014 edition drew in 43.7 million viewers, which dropped to 37.3 million in 2015, 34.4 million in 2016, 32.9 million in 2017, and 26.5 million in 2018. However, 2019 edition, which took place without a host for the very first time, saw a mild increase in viewership to 29.6. That year, the one in which Green Book won Best Picture, remains the highest-rated Oscars show in the last five years.
The 2022 Oscars was hosted by Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Reginal Hall, and ended the three-year run of emcee-less shows.
Unlike the 2021 show, which witnessed a lower turnout of stars owing to pandemic-induced regulations and travel restrictions, this year’s Oscars was attended by the likes of Jason Momoa, Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Elordi, and Lady Gaga, among others.
In addition to the presence of big names, live performances also made a comeback to the Oscars this year, and likely contributed to an increase in viewership.
The evenings performances included Beyonce with the track Be Alive from King Richard, the biographical drama which earned actor Will Smith the Oscar for Best Actor. Billie Eilish performed the song No Time to Die with brother Finneas O’ Connell. The brother-sister duo won their first Oscar in the Best Original Song category for that same track from the 25th James Bond film No Time to Die.
Also, Adassa, Stephanie Beatriz, Mauro Castillo, and Diane Guerrero, the cast members of Disney’s Encanto, which won the Best Animated Feature Film award, presented the first-ever live performance of the track We Don’t Talk About Bruno alongside Luis Fonsi and Becky G.
The Academy’s last-minute collaboration with Meta, a step aimed at attracting younger audiences, appears to have borne fruit as well. Moreover, 12 content creators and social media influencers walked the Oscars red carpet on Sunday. Rickey Thompson, Tinx, Remi Bader, and Chris Olsen were among those invited, and they all posted content from the event on their social media pages.
While Smith’s act of slapping comedian and presenter Chris Rock for the latter’s joke on Smith’s wife went viral on social media, it is unlikely to have influenced the viewership of this year’s live telecast.
Oscars 2022 also featured the historic wins of actors Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur in the supporting roles categories, as well as the Best Picture award for CODA.