Music Monday: 1st YouTube Music Awards Misses the Mark


The first You Tube Music Awards was held on Sunday – live from New York! – and I must say it was a bit of a let-down.  It was chaotic, to be sure, but it was also boring and contrived. The numbers don’t lie – only over 177,000 were tuned into the worldwide live stream by Eminem’s performance.  I mean, this is YouTube people, where a husky like Mishka can generate a couple of million views just by barking “I love you,” in dog language!

I have to say I had high hopes for the #YTMA especially with the Jason Schwartzman videos before the awards.

Like this


And this:
YTMA: Volcano

Alas, when the performers were revealed I shoulda’ known. I mean, with the exception of  violinist Lindsey Stirling, Walk off the Earth and CDZA, the lineup read like any old Grammy/MTV -commercial type stuff that you can find on commercial TV and radio — I mean Gaga? Eminem? What was the point of the YouTube Music Awards again?

Oh yeah, YOU, the viewer. That’s me, that’s my kids who can rattle off YouTube stars that would’ve done a better job at producing and pulling off a more creative and engaging Awards show. At least that’s what they said… this is for you and judged by you. But hey if it’s all just about voting, that’s nothing new. American Idol, The Voice and the like have pulled that off many times and have done a better job of it too.

For me, the YouTube Music Awards missed the mark because it tried to appear creative when really it was just gimmicky. It tried to be international – hey come on, didn’t Korean Pop (K-Pop) girl group Girls’ Generation beat Justin Bieber! But really it was sad but guess what there’s always next year.

As for Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts, thanks for trying. I’m sorry you had to get covered in face paint and dig through cakes to get the winners names – what??! And hold babies.

Jason Schwartzman | YTMA

Lastly, I think the YouTube Music Awards would’ve benefitted from a solid social media strategy that should’ve started months ago (as opposed to a month ago, when the first promo videos were uploaded). I think they should’ve partnered with their YouTube creators and their communities, who would’ve given them solid creative ideas – and probably with a smaller budget too! Spike Jonze’s live videos were an interesting concept but were just not too cool, except of you like seeing Vanessa Hudgens’ get beat up.

Here’s one YouTuber’s review that totally hits the spot. Note: He has over 1 million subscribers.