If the MTV Video Music Awards was once a fresher alternative to the Grammys, then The YouTube Music Awards must be considered the new innovator of music award shows. The first-ever installation of the YTMAs (not as catchy an abbreviation as the VMAs) will take place on November 3. Nominees are picked according to empirical data: the videos and artists who have generated the most activity across online platforms like Google and Facebook, as well as those with the most YouTube hits, are given the chance to earn an award.
Doesn't that already sound more interesting than the VMAs, which is hosted by a channel that's given up on music, and which features exclusively mainstream artists? Well, it does, until you look at the list of YTMA nominees. Turns out, if the algorithms of the online market get to choose, we will sit in front of our respective computers on November 3 and applaud the same basic set of artists honored at the VMAs. Or, to put it more simply, the music that is most popular on the Internet is predictable and boring.
Predictable and Boring Means More Of This
Think that is harsh? Consider this: Macklemore was nominated to six VMAs, and won three. He's up for three YTMAs. Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Eminem...These are some other artists that have the chance to clinch the grand slam at the YTMAs. It's not that the list of YTMA nominees is unfair. The problem is that even though the idea behind the YTMAs is interesting, it seems pointless to devote yet another award show to highlighting the artists with the mightiest PR-machinery.
What's actually new about the YTMAs, however, is three categories: YouTube Phenomenon, Response of the Year, and Innovation of the Year. The first of these acknowledges the viral trends that played out across the vast web of YouTube...you know, like Gagnam Style and the Harlem Shake.
The second celebrates the most-watched fan videos posted as a response to an official video. The third, Innovation of the Year, is the only category at the YTMAs which gives videos by independent artists a fair chance of winning. It features videos deemed most creative by a jury of "musicians, YouTubers and creative luminaries. The five videos that actually got nominated were the ones that created the most online buzz in terms of views, comments, and so on.
Baeble's vote for Innovation of the Year goes to Tory Y Moi, whose video for "Say That" is one of the nominees. It features Chaz Bundick standing in gorgeous, hilly landscapes and singing from behind redwoods.
Click here to see the video, and watch below Tory y Moi's live performance of "Say That" at the Hype Hotel, filmed exclusively for Baeble.