MTV Video Music Awards Decreased in TV Ratings, But Set New Records on Social Media



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The MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) is one of the most talked about awards shows in our current tech-heavy, digitally-obsessed eras. The world’s most famous artists, bands, actors, and entertainment personalities come together for a night that most, if not all, Millennials and Gen-Z’ers know, love, and expect greatness from.

This past weekend, the 2015 VMAs took place, and the television ratings were down from last year (10.3 million viewers in 2014, and 9.8 million total viewers across 10 Viacom networks this year). Despite the dip in television viewership, the VMAs broke some impressive records on Twitter for live televised events.

Last night’s VMAs generated 21.4 million Tweets, which reached nearly 12 million people. Facebook conversations was no joke either, with 16 million people creating 39 million Facebook interactions related to the awards show yesterday. These social stats represent one of the most Tweeted about events outside of sports (the Super Bowl is still Twitter’s live-event knight in shining armor).

“Over 2 million people sent 21.4 million Tweets about the VMAs in the United States, and roughly 11.8 million people saw those tweets a total of 676 million times (impressions). That’s up 69% from 2014, when there were 12.6 million tweets. The Super Bowl is the only other live event that generated more tweets. – Nielsen

To dig deeper into these groundbreaking statistics, brand engagement and agile insights platform, Crowdtap, polled over 600 men and women in their Crowdtap community (average age 32) to better understand their device and social media usage during the show.

Second-screen usage (especially with a smartphone) was huge this year
Of this group, 78% used a smartphone; 43% used a PC/laptop and 37% used a tablet.

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* Respondents were allowed to select more than one response, so greater than 100 total reflects multiple screen usage].

The vast majority of people who were using second screens were doing so to follow along in social.
62% say they actively participated in conversations (in addition to passively viewing); 26% said they were just “lurking” (passively viewing). The most popular platforms for second-screen viewing were Facebook (78%); Twitter (59%) and SnapChat (24%). Again – greater than 100 total reflects multiple uses of platforms.

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Cultural events transcend tune-in. People don’t want to miss out on conversations whether they are viewing first-hand or not.
What’s more 20% of people who said they DID NOT tune in to the live broadcast admitted that they followed along in social media anyway.

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Social media chatter, content and conversations seems to be a large driver of tune-in.
76% of VMA viewers we surveyed said they remembered to tune-in because of something they saw in social media. 84% of this group saw something on Facebook; 53% saw something on Twitter; 38% Instagram; 18% SnapChat; 15% Tumblr.

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People are seeking recaps in social as much as they are on’s owned properties.
When asked where they will go to find recaps of the best moments from this year’s VMAs, our respondents said they’d seek those out via their friends’ FB posts (42%); YouTube (34%); 24% (; 22% (blogs/entertainment pubs); 21% Instagram; 18% Twitter chatter.

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Respondents were allowed to select more than one response

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