Yesterday marked the return of the YouTube Music Awards, with an event that took a far different approach to previous years.
For this outing, YouTube bypassed a flashy, live traditional ceremony full of big name performers and presenters, and instead made the music awards all about one thing…the music itself.
Big name acts still led the field, with superstars like Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna and Taylor Swift all taking home top honours selected based on number of views. They weren’t the focus yesterday though, with YouTube electing to release the award winners list in advance. Yesterday instead offered a celebration of talented emerging and established artists who have a big presence on the platform, with YouTube asking them to produce original music videos.
YTMA Video Collection
The exclusive collection included in this year’s YTMAs were all posted Beyonce-style at the same time on the official awards channel. More than a dozen artists – including Martin Garrix, Lindsey Stirling and Max Schneider – took part along with some of the most original and talented music video directors out there. Viewers can peruse through videos or take in the full “show”, which is a curated playlist of clips alongside looks into their creation with colourful commentary from YouTube star Tyler Oakley, who serves as this year’s MC.
Shamir – Call It Off
FKA Twigs – Glass & Patron
Charli XCX – Famous
If this year’s “show” illustrates one thing, it’s the importance of YouTube in helping re-shape this industry. Especially now as views here are taken into account for the Billboard charts, artists both big and small are placing more and more focus on reaching new viewers and exciting their existing fanbase through their innovative use of video. The clips featured run the gambit of genres and can all be viewed right here!
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And if you’re an artist working on YouTube, be sure to check out the latest from our hip-hop network Opposition and what we’re doing for some of the hottest and rising artists in the hip-hop field.