Friday, November 1, 2013

This Sunday, the first ever YouTube Music Awards will make history

Posted By on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM

click to enlarge Epic Rap Battles of History are up for a YouTube Music Award this year.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History are up for a YouTube Music Award this year.

Does the world really need another music awards show? YouTube certainly thinks so. Except the plans for the first ever YouTube Music Awards, being held this Sunday, are vastly different from what people have come to expect. 

For one thing, there's no red carpet. There will be no celebrities giving away awards - that'll be left to the hosts, Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts, who will also be running the show without a script.

"They basically know only a tiny bit more about it than any of the viewers showing up," Spike Jonze, director of the YTMAs (among other things), told Rolling Stone.

So far, there has been some grumbling about how "mainstream" the YTMA nominations seem to be: Macklemore, Justin Beiber, One Direction, Katy Perry, and other usual suspects are all up for awards. What's unusual is the nature of the awards they are up for. Those four aforementioned heavyweights, along with a few other big names, are contending to be Artist of the Year - an honor that is determined by whose videos and channel was the most watched, shared, liked and subscribed to. Other categories include Video of the Year, Response of the Year, YouTube Phenomenon, YouTube Breakthrough, and Innovation of the Year. You can find the full list of nominees here

If you have ever gone on the Internet, you probably know about Epic Rap Battles of History. Their Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney video is up for Video of the Year, and they have a little PSA that does an excellent job of explaining how voting for the YTMAs works: 



Aside from the fact that Jonze makes the first YTMAs seem like they're on a lackadaisical path to going up in flames, this show is significant because it marks the first time that the power of social media is officially recognized for its role in reaching audiences. What this means for other award shows and, on a greater scale, our changing media and consumption landscape, is intriguing. 

The YTMAs are streaming live on YouTube at 6 p.m. EST Sunday, November 3. Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire are among the performers on the bill for the night. 

What do you think, readers? Are the YTMAs the most relevant awards out there? What do you think this concept says about the importance of social media in today's Internet-driven consumer marketplace? Does T-Swifty seriously need to be validated any further, and why isn't Miley nominated for anything?

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