The YouTube Music Awards winners for 2015 were released, and it’s a controversial list. Once again, YouTube has largely eschewed its native musicians over the big names, but this year they didn’t even have a concert/award show. Instead they just went with a generic compilation video and a short blog post. So why honor the big names instead of the little guys who work hard to make YouTube a major presence in entertainment?
The previous years, YouTube needed the hype of including big names like Katy Perry performing to draw in views from viewers. But without any viewers needed, shouldn’t the award show for YouTube focus inwards? Well, to be fair to YouTube, it has a couple of outs:
1. Vevo is a part of YouTube
Vevo is, in fact, a major part of YouTube. Its artists regularly score views in the hundreds of millions on their videos which, fair or not, brings in a ton of advertising revenue to YouTube. So in a way, giving awards to major stars — even though they aren’t directly working to help YouTube grow — IS rewarding people who help make the platform what it is. Even if it is a byproduct.
As YouTube PR puts it: “Collectively these artists have 146+ million subscribers and 44 billion lifetime views, come from 10 countries, and are watched, commented and shared by fans around the world.”
2. The fans do the “voting”
Yup, YouTube doesn’t directly pick the winners. You do, by watching what you watch. Because so many people tune in to listen to the latest Beyonce song, YouTube essentially can’t ignore her when it comes to handing out the awards for musicians who make YouTube a major presence — essentially it would be unfair to the fans, i.e. you.
In lieu of the awards show, YouTube is trying an exciting experiment: On March 23 at 10am PT, YouTube is dropping a collection of exclusive, new music videos from established and emerging artists, all at once. It’s something they’ve apparently never done before.
YouTube has chosen some major creators like Megan Nicole, Ed Sheeran and Martin Garrix and put the whole thing in the capable producing hands of Vice magazine.
This should be a HUGE year for YouTube and its creators. Hopefully the creators get more of the credit they deserve.