Emmys vs. VMAs: Who Won the Battle for Ratings and Online Buzz
Was the Emmys' Monday move enough to grab the awards show spotlight from Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards?
It depends on where you were watching — the TV Academy won the Nielsen war but played second fiddle on social media to the recording industry. It appears the VMAs' younger demographic prefer to tweet and catch video clips online instead of tuning in to scheduled broadcasts the way the Emmys' older viewers do.
Despite starting at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 25, on the West Coast, the Emmys still managed nearly double the viewership of the VMAs. Its 15.6 million total viewers was down just 12 percent from last year's broadcast, which aired on a Sunday. The VMAs, meanwhile, dipped 18 percent to 8.3 million total viewers on Sunday, Aug. 24.
That early Emmy start time may have affected tune-in at the beginning of the night, with the viewership peaking in the final hour of the broadcast around the time that Billy Crystal ended his tribute to comedian Robin Williams. The high point for the VMAs came at the end of the show during Beyonce's nearly 20-minute show-closing medley.
But while the Emmys ruled on television, the VMAs clearly won the social media war. The two-hour music-packed broadcast generated 12.6 million total tweets and 30 million Facebook interactions from 13 million people (that's more people than watched the show in the U.S.). The Emmys, however, had just 1.1 million total tweets and 10.9 million interactions from 6.2 million people.
The most tweeted moment from the VMAs came when Miley Cyrus won video of the year and had her date — once-homeless Jesse Helt — accept the award on her behalf. With nearly 139,000 tweets per minute, it easily bested the Emmys' top moment when Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston beat out True Detective's Matthew McConaughey to win lead drama actor. His victory garnered just 9,720 tweets per minute.
Both awards shows generated some surprising questions on Google. The No. 1 most searched query from the Emmys was "Who is the father of Hayden Panettiere's baby?" And it seems fertility was on the minds of VMA viewers too. The No. 2 most searched question (behind "When are the VMAs?") was "Is Beyonce pregnant again?"
On the Emmy red carpet, it was Heidi Klum in a cherry red Zac Posen gown who topped the list of most searched dresses. Meanwhile, Iggy Azalea in a silver Versace number reigned atop Google's most searched from the VMA red carpet.
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