Ready for GRAMMY Season? We can help

As the only peer-recognized music award, the GRAMMY is the music industry’s highest honor. We’re counting on you in the music community to continue that legacy by participating in the process. But we’re not leaving you to figure it out alone. Here, you’ll find important information about everything from online entry to the voting process itself. Hopefully, this helps.


Key Dates   

  • Oct. 1, 2015 – Sept. 30, 2016
    Product Eligibility Period
  • July 1 – 20, 2016
    First Round Online Entry Process
  • Aug. 10 – 24, 2016
    Final Round Online Entry Process
  • Sept. 15, 2016
    Last Day To Become A Member To Vote In First Round
  • Oct. 14, 2016
    First Ballot Mailing Date
  • Nov. 4, 2016
    First Ballot Deadline
  • Nov. 15, 2016
    Last Day To Become A Member To Vote In Final Round
  • Dec. 6, 2016
    Nominations Announcement Date
  • Dec. 14, 2016
    Final Ballot Mailing Date
  • Jan. 13, 2017
    Final Ballot Deadline
  • Feb. 12, 2017
    59th Annual GRAMMY Awards Telecast


Process Overview


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What are the submission eligibility requirements for recordings?

    For the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards, recordings must be released between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.

    To be eligible, recordings must be for sale commercially via general distribution or made available as a digital recording, either for sale or via a recognized streaming service. Outlined below is more detailed information on what qualifies as a digital recording and general distribution:

    1. General Distribution: Works must be released via general distribution, defined as the nationwide release of a recording via brick and mortar, third-party online retailers, and/or applicable digital streaming services. Applicable streaming services are paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download platforms that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline. All recordings entered must have an assigned International Standard Recording Code (ISRC).

    2. Digital Recordings: Recordings released nationwide via download or streaming service must have quality comparable to at least 16-bit 44.1 kHz. Submissions sent to The Academy for consideration must include both the original file and the product, proper label credits (producer, mixer, songwriter, etc.) in the metadata file, and a verifiable online release date.

    Note: To be considered an album, recordings must contain at least five different tracks and be 15 minutes in length (there is no minimum length requirement to constitute a track). Recordings (albums/singles) must be available to the public as stand-alone purchases or audio-only streams (exceptions: opera and music video/film) by Sept. 30, 2016.

  • Who can enter recordings for consideration? Do I qualify?

    The Recording Academy accepts entries online from Associate and Voting Members, as well as registered media companies.Members are permitted to submit their own eligible recordings for consideration, as well as the recordings of their peers.

  • How do media companies submit product for GRAMMY consideration?

    Record labels, distribution companies, and management firms qualify as media companies. Media companies must register with The Recording Academy every year and can do so here. Once your media company registration has been confirmed, the Awards Department will send the media company’s designated administrator detailed submission instructions.

    For the 59th Award Season, media companies must register by August 17, 2016 in order to submit product.

    Product for GRAMMY consideration can be submitted through the Online Entry Process (OEP).

    If you're having trouble with your submission, you can contact the Awards Department. They're here to help.

  • How do members submit product for GRAMMY consideration?

    If you're a Recording Academy member, you can submit product for consideration online by logging into During the entry period, a link to submit for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards will appear on your member dashboard right when you log in. Click on it and you'll get helpful instructions detailing how to complete your submission and where to send any physical product.

    Again, our Awards Department is here to assist you if you encounter any problems with your submission. Just email and one of our helpful team members will get right back to you.

  • When can I submit recordings for submission online?

    There are two distinct rounds of online entry for members and registered media companies:

    First Round: July 1 – July 20, 2016
    Final Round: August 10 – 24, 2016

  • Why are there two submission periods?

    The Recording Academy receives more than 20,000 submissions each year. The separate entry periods help ensure that our Awards team has time to be responsive to incoming questions and can help troubleshoot any issues for people making entries.

    The first-round submission period encourages members and media companies to submit recordings released earlier within the eligibility period, October – July. The final round is reserved for August – September releases.

  • What if I want to submit a recording that will be released within the eligibility period, but after the Online Entry Period has closed?

    All eligible recordings must be entered prior to the close of the final online Entry Period, August 24, regardless of public release date. Feel free to email the Awards team to discuss the particulars of your recording.

  • What's the difference between an entry and a nomination?

    Entries are recordings submitted for GRAMMY consideration. Entries that meet all eligibility requirements are included in the first ballot, which goes to The Recording Academy's Voting Members, who then vote for the entries they believe should receive a nomination.

  • Who can vote for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards?

    As the world's only peer-recognized music award, the GRAMMY Award is voted on by The Recording Academy's voting membership, which is comprised solely of music creators, including artists, producers, songwriters, and engineers.

  • What is the difference between a Voting Member and an Associate Member?

    The Recording Academy is the preeminent membership organization for creators and professionals in the music community.

    Voting Members are professionals with creative or technical credits on at least six commercially released tracks. Read more about Voting Membership.

    Associate Members are professionals who play an active role in shaping the music industry in a non-creator role (e.g. manager, administrative, publicist, etc.). Read more about Associate Membership.

  • When do I need to register to become a member of The Recording Academy?

    Now! Here are a few key dates and deadlines to keep in mind:

    • July 31, 2016: Last day to become a member to participate in the Online Entry Process
    • September 15, 2016: Last day to become a Voting Member and receive the first ballot
    • November 15, 2016: Last day to become a Voting Member and receive the final ballot

  • How many GRAMMY Award categories are there?

    There are currently 30 fields (General, Pop, Gospel, Classical, etc.) and 84 distinct award categories across those fields.

  • Can I vote in all 84 categories?

    Eligible voters are permitted to vote in the four General Field categories (Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best New Artist) and up to 15 additional award categories, based on their areas and genres of expertise. In order to preserve the integrity of the voting process, voters are instructed to only vote in those categories in which they are most knowledgeable, passionate, and qualified.

  • What is the difference between Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year?

    The Record Of The Year category recognizes the artist’s performance as well as the overall contributions of the producer(s), recording engineer(s), and/or mixer(s) if other than the performing artist.

    The Song Of The Year category recognizes the songwriter(s) who wrote and composed the song.

  • Who is eligible for the Best New Artist category?

    To be eligible in the category of Best New Artist, the artist, duo, or group:

    • Must have released a minimum of five singles/tracks or one album, but no more than 30 singles/tracks or three albums.
    • May not have entered into this category more than three times, including as a performing member of an established group.
    • Must have achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and impacted the musical landscape during the eligibility period.

  • Are changes ever made to the Awards process?

    The awards process is constantly evolving to reflect what’s happening in music. Each year, we receive proposals with suggested changes on everything from awards categories to rule revisions. We typically alert members of any category or rule changes in June. Award process updates for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards can be viewed here.

  • What happens once I’ve submitted a recording?

    The Recording Academy Awards Department reviews each entry to confirm eligibility. Once eligibility has been confirmed, submissions are then sorted by genre-based sorting committees, who ensure that all recordings are listed in their proper category on the first-round ballot.

  • How does The Recording Academy decide how to sort each entry into the proper category?

    More than 150 experts across various musical fields meet to ensure that recordings are placed in their appropriate fields (e.g. Rock, R&B, Jazz, Country, Rap, Classical, Latin, etc.). These committees do not make artistic or technical judgments about the recordings, but merely ensure that each entry is placed in the proper category. From there, we arrive at the official first-round ballot.

  • What is the difference between first-ballot voting and final-ballot voting?

    On the first ballot, voters select the entries they believe should receive GRAMMY nominations. On the final ballot, voters select the entries they believe should receive GRAMMY Awards.

    Note: In select award categories — such as those in the Craft Field — GRAMMY nominations are determined by Nominations Review Committees, comprised of highly specialized Voting Members.

  • What are Craft categories?

    Categories within the Craft Field include: Engineered Album, Producer Of The Year, Package, Album Notes, Historical, Remixed Recording, and Surround Sound.

  • When are ballots due and where do I send my completed ballot?

    For the 59th Annual GRAMMY Award season, first-round ballots are mailed to Voting Members October 14, 2016 and are due November 4, 2016. Final-round ballots are mailed to Voting Members December 14, 2016, and due January 13, 2017. Your completed ballot must be sent to the independent audit firm of Deloitte. Your ballot will have mailing instructions for you to follow.

  • Are there rules about soliciting for GRAMMY Award votes?

    Members of The Recording Academy, record labels, and other industry professionals are not prohibited from promoting their releases during GRAMMY Award ballot season. However, in order to protect the integrity of the voting process, we do have solicitation guidelines.