In the run-up to the Feb. 8 Grammy Awards show, the Recording Academy has launched a number of initiatives designed to broaden the organization's footprint in the digital world. This includes an official Grammy Twitter feed - where performers were announced even ahead of the official press release - a Grammy Facebook profile, Last.fm feed, an iPhone App, and a dedicated area on the Grammy Web site where the show will be broadcast in full, also available in clips on YouTube.

Overseeing these efforts is Peter Anton, named in November to the newly-created position of VP of digital media, and chief marketing officer Evan Green. The two took a break from their busy Grammy Week activities to speak with Billboard about the Recording Academy's new digital face.

Billboard: The Grammys have a very digital look this year. Is this the start of a significant digital shift for The Recording Academy?

Evan Green: The academy has know for a while that we needed to tighten up our digital strategy and create a more robust and engaging presence in the digital space. Now that we've build the marketing strategy and infrastructure to support a digital initiative, the timing is perfect for someone like Peter to come on board, who has been the missing piece I this whole project. What you're seeing now is us dipping our toe in the water, and it's only going to grow. It's a direct effort to become more engaged in the digital music conversation that's going on all around us.

These tools have been available for a while. Why launch with them now?

Green: We wanted to take our time, be methodical and strategic. We wanted to make sure we knew what our message would be and stay on point. We didn't want to just put up a bunch of different pages with vastly different messaging. What you're seeing now is the culmination of several years of brand invigoration. There's so many different things that we do, we have to make sure it's really streamlined.

What's been the response so far?

Peter Anton: We're seeing an amazing amount of activity and interactivity. This is all relatively new stuff. Even with Twitter and Facebook, we just started our presence for those in late November. On Twitter we have 21,000 followers and 1,200 fans on Facebook.

Are these programs created just for the Grammy event, or will they exist year round?

Green: The Grammy brand is a year-round brand, so this is just another piece of the puzzle that expands our presence. You're seeing an important part of our evolution, but certainly not the end of it.

How will you use these digital tools to maintain the engagement you're getting now after the Grammy Awards show is over?

Green: When [fans] find out some of the other things the Academy does, it completely changes their view of the Grammys and it makes them care more about our brand and gets them invested in what we do. Throughout the year, we plan to tell people about all the events we're doing and all the ways the Academy and the Grammys celebrate music throughout the entire year.

What other digital plans to you have in the works?

Anton: Just to extend all our efforts. This has been years in the making and it's just the beginning in terms of what we're going to be doing in the coming months and years. If you look at Grammy.com today, it's just a harbinger of things to come in terms of the way we're reaching out-the real time Twitter feeds, video widgets fans can place on their social networks. We have select bloggers giving insight. Feb. 8 is the crown jewel, but there's so much more.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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