In eight years, it’s spawned international sensations like Justin Bieber and PSY, granted number-one status to Miley Cyrus, and has helped make Rihanna one of the most-viewed singers in the world. This fall, YouTube is flexing its music muscle even harder by rolling out the carpet for the first YouTube Music Awards.
Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Arcade Fire are confirmed to perform at the inaugural November 3 ceremony that will stream live from New York City’s Pier 36. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World actor Jason Schwartzman will emcee the spectacular while Her director Spike Jonze will direct the world’s most “unconventional” awards show.
“I want to find out if we can make a whole night just about making things,” Jonze told Billboard. “Instead of just doing performances, can we do live collaborations?” he added, hinting that YouTube’s award bow will offer more engagement than the Grammys and MTV Video Music Awards. Danielle Tiedt, YouTube VP of Marketing, backed that claim, saying “We’re trying to create live videos during the award shows so that the experience becomes more about creating than presenting… Our main goal is to not just do another award show. We wanted to do something special.”
The novel affair will include appearances from YouTube collective CDZA and violinist Lindsey Stirling, who combined, have garnered 437 million views… and counting. YouTube will also air taped performances from acts in Seoul, Moscow, and London during the 90-minute show in what spokesperson Chelsea Maughan says showcases the platform’s international appeal. “Music is a huge part of what YouTube is and what YouTube has become to music fans around the world,” she shared with Mashable.
Of course, actual awards will be involved. On October 17, YouTube will announce nominees in six categories and fan votes will solely determine winners.
Check out the YouTube video (natch!) of Schwartzman announcing his hosting duties and stay tuned for updates on the show: