The first YouTube annual music awards ceremony on November 3 is featuring some big names and some big suprises. With the Google owned site moving into the paid digital music arena they are focussing on pulling in more mainstream, big name artists for their potential audience. Arcade Fire, Eminem and Lady Gaga are just three examples of the calibre of entertainer that will be there on the night of the YouTube Music Video Awards debut.
The awards show presenter, Jason Schwartzman has gone on record to say that he is a little uncomfortable with the actual event. The 33 year-old actor/musician has said that the program apparently has no real plan, definitely does not work off of a script, but, the show should provide some pretty exciting surprises. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the presenter revealed that he is nervous about the whole thing.
The show will be helmed by music video and film director Spike Jonze – he is actually listed as the “creative director” – and it will be broadcast live from Pier 36 in New York City.
This amalgamation of mainstream professionals and YouTube sensations is the first of its kind. An event where nominees include Taylor Swift – for her I Knew You Were Trouble in the YouTube Phenomenon on the mainstream side and PSY’s YouTube record breaking Gangnam Style music video as just two of the nominees in this category.
The categories are:
Video of the Year which are videos that have resulted in the most fan engagement over the year.
Artist of the Year which are those acts, or artists, that YouTube fans watch, share, like, and subscribe to the most.
Response of the Year which are the best fan made remix, parody, or response videos. A category that relies on views and shares, et al. These have been classed as unofficial videos.
YouTube Phenomenon which, as the name implies, are those videos that have made or broken records worldwide.
YouTube Breakthrough which are artists or channels that have “broken out” with fans in terms of the greatest number of views and new subscribers.
Innovation of the Year which are videos that were picked by a special global panel that have generated the most interest, shares, comments etc.
Despite being broadcast from New York City, there will be live performances and events from around the world. The YouTube first annual Music Awards will feature big names as well as big surprises and not just from New York. It is anticipated that the South Korean artist PSY will be doing something live from Seoul.
While Jason Schwartzman has promised some “big surprises,” Spike Jonze has said that the entire event should come across as the world’s biggest YouTube video. Kia Motors are the show’s sponsor and this is being touted as the next “big” thing.
Apparently, apart from honoring established artists, this platform should escalate the careers of those “YouTube stars” who have many fans on the site, but are not that well known outside of the internet.
As with any other award program, there are questions about just how the names were shortlisted for the event. Billboard Biz have prepared a chart following the nominees, and acts that were not nominated, to see how their views, shares, etc. have gone over the last year. At least one act, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, appear to be a bit low on their numbers. A fact that made that website apparently question the validity of the artists inclusion in Artist of the Year category.
Regardless of just who has appeared on the nominee shortlist, this newest YouTube event is designed to draw attention to the sites newest money making venture. Earlier in the year, the Google run site held two more programs. They held Comedy Week back in May and, more recently, in August, Geek Week. This newest event, which is planned to be held annually, is aimed more at the money paying sector and less at the YouTube devotees who do not want to pay for the privilege of watching videos on the internet.
The first annual YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3 will feature some big surprises and big names along with those lesser known artists outside of web. Artists who rely on YouTube a great deal for fan feedback and inundation will undoubtedly make an appearance on this “ground breaking” occasion.
By Michael Smith