By Sahil Patel
Next week, YouTube is hosting a week of music-themed programming on its site, punctuated by the company’s first ever YouTube Music Awards, an event designed to celebrate the top musicians on the site. It’s also a way for YouTube to recognize how big music content is on its platform, from the millions of people who watch music videos to an array of creators who produce and distribute original songs and covers.
First announced at the beginning of this month, the YouTube Music Awards will feature performances from the likes of Arcade Fire, Avicii, Earl Sweatshirt, Eminem, Lady Gaga, MIA, Tyler the Creator, and Walk Off the Earth, as well as YouTube-grown talent like Lindsey Stirling and CDZA.
The event will hand out six awards, which will be voted on by fans via YouTube, Google+, and Twitter. Last night, YouTube unveiled the list of nominees, which were determined by the number of views, likes, comments, and subscriptions the artists received over the past 12 months:
Video of the Year: Honoring the world’s most loved music videos, these nominees represent the videos with the most fan engagement on YouTube over the last year.
- Demi Lovato — “Heart Attack”
- Epic Rap Battles of History — “Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney”
- Girls’ Generation — “I Got A Boy”
- Justin Bieber (feat. Nicki Minaj) — “Beauty And A Beat”
- Lady Gaga — “Applause”
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) — “Same Love”
- Miley Cyrus — “We Can’t Stop”
- One Direction — “Best Song Ever”
- PSY — “Gentleman”
- Selena Gomez — “Come & Get It”
Artist of the Year: Honoring the acts YouTube fans have made stars, nominees represent the most watched, shared, liked, and subscribed-to artists on YouTube.
- Epic Rap Battles of History
- Justin Bieber
- Katy Perry
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Nicki Minaj
- One Direction
- Taylor Swift
Response of the Year: Honoring the best fan remix, parody or response video, these nominees represent the top “unofficial” fan videos on YouTube based on your views, shares and other activity.
- Boyce Avenue (feat. Fifth Harmony) — “Mirrors”
- Jayesslee — “Gangnam Style”
- Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix — “Radioactive”
- ThePianoGuys — “Titanium / Pavane”
- Walk Off the Earth (feat. KRNFX) — “I Knew You Were Trouble”
YouTube Phenomenon: Recognizing the YouTube trends the world could not escape from, nominees are based on the phenomena that generated the most fan videos.
- “Gangnam Style”
- “Harlem Shake”
- “I Knew You Were Trouble”
- “Thrift Shop”
YouTube Breakthrough: Honoring the music world’s breakout new acts, nominees represent the artists who experienced the biggest growth in views and subscribers.
- Kendrick Lamar
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Naughty Boy
Innovation of the Year: Starting with videos selected by an international panel of musicians, YouTubers and creative luminaries, we then selected the creative video innovations that resonated most with fans on YouTube, based on views, likes, shares and comments.
- Anamanaguchi — “ENDLESS FANTASY”
- Atoms For Peace — “Ingenue”
- Bat For Lashes — “Lilies”
- DeStorm — “See Me Standing”
- Toro Y Moi — “Say That”
Hosted by actor Jason Schwartzman and musician Reggie Watts, the YouTube Music Awards will be executive produced by VICE and Sunset Lane Entertainment and sponsored by Kia. Director Spike Jonze is on board as the show’s creative director.
The show will take place at Pier 36 in New York on November 3. It will be preceded by a series of live and recorded performances from places like Seoul, Tokyo, Moscow, London, and Rio, all of which will be streamed on YouTube.