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The Video Music Awards bucked a trend of awards show ratings cratering — at least by one measure.
ViacomCBS says its cross-platform metric of total minutes consumed grew year to year. People watched 1.4 billion minutes worth of content from the VMAs, per ViacomCBS — a 9 percent increase from 1.29 billion minutes for the 2020 show (that figure itself was revised down from 1.33 billion minutes).
Total minutes consumed includes the simulcast of the show across 11 ViacomCBS cable channels and The CW, as well as the preshow, encores and support programming leading up to the event, plus viewing on streaming and other digital platforms.
The metric is similar to that for Nielsen’s weekly streaming rankings, measuring the total time viewers spent with a title rather than the more traditional figure of average audience size.
The show also generated more social interactions — 38 million — than any program on TV so far this year. The VMAs outdrew the Super Bowl by the first time in that measure after coming close last year. (Social traffic was down slightly year to year, falling from 41.1 million interactions in 2020.)
MTV’s linear audience was also down year to year, albeit more sharply. The cabler averaged 900,000 viewers for the live run of the show — a 32 percent drop from 1.32 million in 2020. That’s in keeping with big declines for other awards shows in the past two years.
Doja Cat hosted the VMAs, and Lil Nas X won the award for video of the year for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” Justin Bieber was named artist of the year, and Olivia Rodrigo took home three awards, including best new artist.
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