The Brit awards suffered its lowest ratings for five years after an average of 4.8m tuned in to watch the ceremony.
ITV1's coverage was beaten by the final episode of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, seen by an average of 6.5m on Channel 4.
On BBC One, Holby City drew an average audience of 5.6m. Last year's Brits drew an average of 5.8m viewers.
Tinie Tempah took two prizes at this year's awards - British breakthrough act and best single for Pass Out - while Take That won best British group.
The best British album gong went to Mumford and Sons for Sigh No More, while Plan B and Laura Marling were named best British male and female.
There were also prizes for Rihanna, Cee Lo Green and Arcade Fire, whose record The Suburbs won best international album.
The Canadian band also took home the award for best international group.
Tempah - real name Patrick Okogwu - had been the most nominated artist of the night with four nods.
Picking up his first award, the star said: "I want to big up God and my family for sticking by me when times are hard."
Rihanna, who also performed, landed the best international female artist trophy, while Cee Lo Green picked up the international male award.
The rapper and singer, who received his prize from Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, told the audience that his heart was racing.
"I'm so excited," he added. "Thank you so much for this honour. Such a pleasant surprise."
Elsewhere Justin Bieber - the 16-year-old pop sensation who rose to fame on YouTube - took home the gong for best international breakthrough act.
Take That kicked off the show, hosted by comic actor James Corden, with a performance of their single Kidz.
All five members of the band took to the stage, accompanied by dancers dressed as riot police.
The group, who reunited with Robbie Williams last year, beat Biffy Clyro, Mumford and Sons and Gorillaz in the best group category.
On stage Mark Owen paid tribute to Williams. "Can I say, thanks for coming back mate," he said. "It's a real pleasure for the five of us to be up here."
The former boy band had also been up for best British album, along with Plan B, Tempah and The xx.
The Who's Roger Daltrey presented the best album award to Mumford and Sons.
"It's good to see the British music industry still has enough money for a good booze-up", he said before before handing the prize over.
Accepting the trophy, Marcus Mumford said: "This is very bizarre, very strange. Thank you very much indeed. We are very honoured, very humbled."
Ellie Goulding and Mark Ronson presented Jessie J with the Critics' Choice prize.
The Essex-born singer, currently number one in the singles chart with Price Tag, is the fourth consecutive female to take home the gong.
Speaking backstage, the star said: "Pop stands for popular. I want to be a pop icon and take Britain across the world."
Adele, Plan B and Tempah were among the acts who performed at the event, while Cee Lo Green and Paloma Faith closed the ceremony.
All performances from the show - which took place at London's O2 arena for the first time - have been made available for fans to buy on the iTunes website.
Profits from the downloads will be donated to the Brits Trust, the awards' charity partner.