The Billboard Music Awards is a series of music-related events in which music industry insiders, politicians, artists, publicists and others vie for recognition and accolades. The Awards, currently celebrating its 30th year, have become one of the most celebrated and highest-attended music-related events of the year. Previous Winners have included everyone from Elton John to Dave Matthews to Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake. However, this year’s winning entries came from a very unlikely source: YouTube.
The billboard music awards were first held yearly in December before going silent in 2007 and later returned in May of that year. The finalists are determined by United States year-end chart performance based on sales, total number of plays and download figures. For the second consecutive year, YouTube is the website of the ceremony. It is the first time the award ceremony will be hosted on the popular social networking site.
Part of the reason for the increasing popularity of YouTube and similar social networking sites is their relative youth. According to ComScore, a digital media research firm, YouTube is the second most visited website in the United States behind only Google. In fact, as of June 2009, more music videos were being shared through this platform than any other. A large number of people are visiting the site every day, which makes for a great deal of potential exposure for the music industry and for the individuals who create music and share it through this medium.
While the website is a major draw to the music industry, the awards themselves can be a big draw, too. They have typically featured well-known and beloved songs or albums. Past winners have included hits by albums like Pink Floyd, U2 and Soundgarden. Many times, the featured artist also receives an award, making the ceremony extra memorable and well-received among all music lovers.
While the website and ceremony are a huge draw for music lovers, they are not the only ways fans and peers recognize a performer. Fans and peers can also take part through various websites and social networks. Concert reviews and photographs often make their way onto blogs and social networking pages, as fans compare notes about a given concert and share what they heard. These social venues give music awards a distinct advantage over traditional music shows and awards ceremonies.
The website and ceremony of the music industry can bring in a huge crowd, but that does not mean the artists who are featured will receive any kind of recognition from those same crowds. In order for that to happen, they need to take part in many different venues. But they need to do more than just present their award at a given venue. They need to promote themselves and their music through all manner of venues in order to fully take advantage of this growing trend toward online music. Whether they choose to host their own show or simply encourage their fans to do so, music industry professionals understand how important the promotion of their music can be.