Can YouTube create live content that inspires watercooler zeitgeist moments like television? Google’s giving it a shot with the YouTube Music Awards, a celebration of do-it-yourself Internet culture livestreaming on YouTube right now. It’s chaotic, innovative, offensive, silly, and downright weird. But one thing’s for sure. You won’t see this on TV. (all quotes from TechCrunch live blog)The fact that I heard about this on Radio 4, highbrow + 'high culture' station, certainly reinforces the impression that this event is seen as highly significant. Their media correspondent (530am bulletin, 4.11.13) was clear that YouTube now leads the music industry, its position as leading source of streamed material just one string to its bow. I've blogged on YouTube and its rise, expanding beyond its original format on the way, many times - click on the tag cloud (bottom right of the blog) to find out more.
By all accounts it was a messy, chaotic affair; echoes of the notoriously messy Brit Awards ceremony there? A Radio 5 (more pop culture oriented) media correspondent suggested that they need traditional TV exposure to make further impact, and floated the idea that they may link up at some point with MTV, who used to be the punky new kid on the block but is now part of 'the establishment'.
Here's a snippet from the TechCrunch live blog:
6:15 – The first YouTube Music Award for YouTube Breakthrough goes to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for their “Thrift Shop” video. Macklemore tells the crowd they shot the video for just $5,000 with a bunch of their friends, highlighting the democratizing nature of YouTube. And in the first moment proving this is not television, after thanking his family and fiance, Macklemore thanks “the guy who used to sell me shrooms.”The awards tried to innovate: Spike Jonze was to incorporate the audience into a video made during the show. The importance of UGC/fan-made videos was underlined by an award for the video with most fan-made videos. According to TechCrunch, there was an annoyingly staged postmodern element to this:
6:45 - The discombobulating nature of the event is starting to make it feel grating. When Taylor Swift song “I Knew You Were Trouble” wins the YouTube Phenomenon award for inspiring the most fan videos, Arcade Fire lead singer Win Butler comes out and “steals” the microphone, mimicking Kanye West’s famous interruption of a Taylor Swift award speech year ago. Butler announces that obviously “Harlem Shake” should have won. It all feels a bit canned.You can find YouTube's here; this is a sample...