YouTube hopes to boost music profile with new awards show

By Luciana Lopez

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Does the world really need another music video awards show? The answer is yes - at least according to YouTube.

The online video-sharing site is rolling out its first YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, with a show that pairs established industry stars such as Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire along with performers from the Google-owned video site.

The show will boost YouTube's profile just weeks before the site is expected to announce a subscription service that will compete in an already crowded music marketplace.

"On a practical level (YouTube has) put people on the map and it's generated revenue or other resources like support or recognition from people that normally would not get the exposure," said Reggie Watts, a performance artist who, along with actor Jason Schwartzman, will host the event.

The awards categories are limited but clearly meant to differentiate the YouTube awards from the Grammys or the MTV Music Video Awards, which grabbed attention this year after a raunchy performance by former Disney star Miley Cyrus as she transitions into a more adult career.

YouTube will also name a video of the year and an artist of the year, with a slate of nominees including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Eminem, Katy Perry and other top-40 mainstays.

But the categories also range more broadly. "Response of the Year" will pick the best fan remix, parody or response. Other categories include YouTube phenomenon, breakthrough and innovation of the year.

Even the show's structure aims for something a little different. Watts said he and co-host Schwartzman know the overall sequence of the events but don't know the blow-by-blow of what will happen at the Spike Jonze-directed show.

"We have no clue what's going to happen," he said. "All you can do in the moment is perform."

The awards show will stream live from New York on Sunday starting at 6 p.m. (2200 GMT).

YouTube has positioned itself in recent years as a major source of new music videos for fans. Lady Gaga alone has racked up well over 1 billion views of her various videos.

The shift highlights some of the challenges - and opportunities - for artists. While accessing fans has never been easier, turning a profit and making a living as a musician has become more challenging.

Sites such as YouTube effectively function as on-demand stations for music, with fans able to listen to play lists over and over just for watching the occasional commercial.

YouTube is expected to introduce an option by the end of the year to let music fans skip the commercials via a paid subscription service.

That would pit YouTube more directly against services such as the online music streaming Web service Spotify, which itself has had its share of musicians such as Radiohead's Thom Yorke who criticize the company's business model for squeezing artists.

Into all of this comes the awards show, which will showcase the abundance of changes in the music industry.

The show is "about a certain level of discovery," Watts said. "It's going to be an experiment on all levels." (Editing by Philip Barbara)

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Wiz Khalifa's tribute to Furious 7's Walker keeps UK chart top spot
    Wiz Khalifa's tribute to Furious 7's Walker keeps UK chart top spot

    American rapper Wiz Khalifa's tribute to actor Paul Walker, "See You Again", kept the top spot in Britain's music charts for a second week, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday, saying it had also broken the country's all-time streaming record. The song, featuring Charlie Puth, is on the sound track to the movie "Furious 7", and pays tribute to cast member Walker who died during filming in November 2013. A remix of OMI's 2012 reggae song "Cheerleader" held firm at number two, while …

  • Box Office: 'Furious 7' Races Past 'Age of Adaline'
    Box Office: 'Furious 7' Races Past 'Age of Adaline'

    By Brent Lang LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Nothing, it seems, and certainly not Blake Lively, can get "Furious 7" to slam on the brakes. The mega-grossing sequel took the top spot at the weekend box office with $18.2 million, becoming the first film to come in first for four consecutive weekends since "The Hunger Games" in March of 2012. …

  • I'm here to share love: Atif Aslam on performing in India

    Indore, April 26 (IANS) Popular Pakistani musician Atif Aslam might not have been able to entertain his fans in Pune with his rock numbers and melodious tracks as his concert had to be cancelled, but he says he has no grudges and has only love to share with his Indian fans. I love my fans and I like being in India. …

  • Anupam Kher's TV show returns, to tell more inspiring tales

    New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Veteran actor Anupam Kher is returning with the second season of "The Anupam Kher Show...Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai". He says there will be more inspiring stories to tell. He made his TV production debut with the first season of the show last year on channel Colors. It highlighted inspirational stories of popular Bollywood celebrities, who will spoke about their life's challenges and testing times. …

  • Evelyn 'obsessed' with Ram's 'Dil Ki Baatein'

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Actress Evelyn Sharma, who will be seen portraying an aspiring rockstar Naina in comedy caper film "Kuch Kuch Locha Hai", says she is hooked to co-star Ram Kapoor's ongoing TV show "Dil Ki Baatein". The 28-year-old, who has appeared in films like "Yaariyan" and "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", doesn't watch many Hindi shows, but she feels Ram is doing an "outstanding job" in the Sony Entertainment Television show. "Right now I am obsessed with the show 'Dil Ki Baatein'. I …

  • Better to open a shop than do TV soaps, says Sunil Grover

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) He has been tickling the audiences' funny bone with his act as Gutthi in "Comedy Nights With Kapil", but actor Sunil Grover says fiction dramas are not his cup of tea, and that he wouldn't opt for them even if he has no money to pay his EMIs some day. Sunil told IANS: "I have not been doing much on small screen apart from 'Comedy Nights With Kapil'. "I have not done fiction (soaps), and here in India, the kind of routine, the number of days you have to shoot... it's …

  • Pop culture reminds Ben Stiller of his childhood days

    New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) Actor Ben Stiller, who stars together with actress Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple in comedy-drama film "While We're Young", says the pop culture reminds him of his "childhood and youth days". …

  • Sunny Leone likes live audience connect

    Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) Close on the heels of the release of comedy caper "Kuch Kuch Locha Hai", actress Sunny Leone performed live during a promotional event here along with singer Shraddha Pandit. Sunny, who was also joined by actor Ram Kapoor, debutant Navdeep Chhabra and director Devang Dholakia for the event, had an interactive session with the fans and was also seen giving autographs and clicking photographs with them. It was a great idea to have a promotional activity," Sunny, who …

Loading...