Although down 5% from last year, VMA still managed to net a solid 6.4 million viewers with its pre-shows, post-shows, main shows and encores. The function, which simulated over 13 ViacomCBS brands, was up 8% from last year, based overall on linear and digital combined (1.330 billion vs. 1.229 billion a year ago).
For the first time, VMA aired on broadcast TV via CW, which helped viewers grow in the Sunday time slot, particularly in the youth demo.
The executive, a 2020 VMA produced by Den of Thieves founder Jesse Ignazatovic, certainly spoke of an era, as it featured socially distorted red carpet interviews, virtual interactions with in-house audience members, a lot of segments that were obvious. Features were shot on a green screen and drive-in display.
The ceremony could easily be called the “Gaga Awards”, as he topped the night with five Moon Persons, including a trophy for Artist of the Year and the inaugural Tricon Award. The Weeknd received the award for Video of the Year with “Blinding Lights”, while Ariana Grande and the K-pop super group BTS took four awards each.