Who was the big winner at the YouTube Music awards? Certainly artists like Beyonce, K-Pop ground 2NE1, and even YouTube snythpop prodigy Troye Sivan took home prizes for their achievements in video music last year, but the biggest winners are probably the artists YouTube picked to celebrate the event. YouTube named 13 “emerging artists” and commissioned them to create original music videos to celebrate the event. YouTube is already one of the largest sources for digital music in existence, it hosts most of the world’s recorded music, and thanks to parent company Google, it often knows more about its users’ tastes and habits than they themselves do. So what I’m saying is, being called an up-and-comer by YouTube is a pretty big deal, but which of the 13 artists faired the best?
One of YouTube’s greatest advantages is that it lets us see what works, and what people love, in real time. All 13 original YTMA videos went live at the same time, offered up by YouTube as part of a playlist, but it appears that a surprisingly number of people skipped the Tyler Oakley hosted interstitials in favor of jumping right to the good stuff. The clear winner was Reggaeton artist Nicky Jam who scored over 3.5 million views with his “El Perdon,” a smooth jam featuring vocal contributions from Enrique Iglesias.
Scoring a distant second with a still impressive 1.8 million views was DJ Producer Martin Garrix, who offered up a visually stunning video for his musical confection “Don’t Look Down” ft. Usher. The song channels some of Usher’s strongest vocal attributes and the video channels the best of video superstars OK Go with a dash of candy colored Wes Anderson for flavor.
Garrix is part of a wave of DJ/Producers who have been sweeping the charts in Europe and the United States over the last two years. Of course when it comes to musical acts, he’s got his work cut out for him. Lindsay Stirling is currently hanging back in third place among YTMA performers, but with over 1.7 million views she’s less than 100k behind Garrix, and if there’s one thing YouTube veteran violinist Lindsey Stirling knows how to do it’s get out the views.
This year’s YTMAs served as a perfect platform for all the signature artists to shine and another step toward YouTube’s goal of becoming a music destination and a tastemaker. All the original videos have fared well and are continuing to gain views. Even those that haven’t crossed the 1 million mark are on track to do so within the next few days. However, they all have a long way to go if they want to catch up with the YouTube Music Awards’ all time biggest winner. YouTube pop princess Megan Nicole’s video for bouncy single FUN, dropped last year in conjunction with the first annual YTMAs, is currently sitting pretty at over 18 million views, making her the biggest YTMA winner of all time.
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