It’s hard to imagine a more confusing award show right now than MTV’s Video Music Awards. If Viacom wants to hand awards to Rob Dyrdek for two hours to thank him for keeping the lights on, we get it. But otherwise, this show is a mix of the best performers in the world alongside things no one thinks are cool outside of marketers and the terminally dull.
Nevertheless, the Video Music Awards happened, hosting several nauseating cultural occurrences, including a cameo from Johnny Depp and Eminem and Snoop Dogg’s trip to the Metaverse. How is an ugly monkey cartoon dancing in what looks like a cutscene from a VeggieTales Nintendo 64 game better than Snoop Dogg performing in person? Well, it just is because the saddest, wealthiest, least interesting people said so. Thankfully, there were bright spots, including captivating and creative live performances from Bad Bunny, Nicki Minaj, and Lizzo. It’s nice to see someone was trying.
But despite some of the show’s more embarrassing moments, people watched the VMAs this year. Not only that, but slightly more watched this year than last year. Per Deadline, viewership for Snoop Dogg and Eminem’s little Fortnite concert was up 3%, with more than 3.9 million viewers across the night. Last year, Viacom went to bed with a paltry 3.7 million.
While the ratings paled in comparison to House Of The Dragon, MTV did point out that the VMAs were “the No. 1 social telecast of the year with more than 40 million interactions,” allegedly more than the Super Bowl or the Oscars. It must feel good to do a little career rehab for Johnny Depp and reap the rewards through an uptick in social engagement. However, we assume that most people watching just wanted to see Bad Bunny and not all these weird marketing exercises.