MTV is at it again; the ‘it’ being tapping into the psyche of the younger generations and combining that which is important and relevant into a spectacle that is loosely related to music. The network that has brought the world The Jersey Shore and the VMAs have announced a new awards show amid much mystery called the OMAs. No word yet as to what the ‘O’ stands for, but early talk seems to be leaning towards the fact that it doesn’t stand for anything at all.
The awards will focus on digital music, which also leaves much in the way of definition. The network explained in brief that the goal of the event is to “honor the migration of music to the digital space, and celebrate the art, artistry and technology of digital music.” Once again, a statement that leaves much to the imagination.
What little thatis known is that at the heart (or backbone or brain or soul) of the OMAs looks to be a large social media presence. The show will be highly interactive, as most MTV shows tend to already be, utilizing Twitter among others avenues, to engage fans. It seems that fans will be a driving factor in awarding prizes, using social media to cast their votes. Mobiles and likely Facebook will also play roles in this what MTV is hoping is an unprecedented endeavor. According the report, categories can and will deal with artists using social media, with awards for example for Best App or Best Kanye West tweet. And if the latter is a category, isn’t he automatically a winner; where is the competition? Is Kanye rooting for one tweet to win over another, and is he sitting at home now planning an award winning collection of 140 characters? And does he tweet his acceptance speech? How does he interrupt Taylor Swift if she wins Sweetest Tweet?
Myriad questions abound around the show, but established is that those who watch MTV are likely to be among those most adept at tweeting, Facebooking, and staying connected. They are the NFL of social networking. So will MTV’s attempt to increase interaction with an awards show about digital music be at all progressive?
“We think this space now needs an award show,” said Dermot McCormack, head of MTV Music Group digital. Is he right? It hardly seems necessary, but it is certainly profitable. The same network that created the Video Music Awards over 25 years ago has a track record of success, but crafting a very untraditional awards show with an ambiguous theme may prove difficult. The spectacle is a worthy enough reason to watch, but what of the content and message? Fans will happily vote for esoteric and arcane objects as they have before (think MTV Movie Awards: Best Kiss, Best Fight Scene), but will there be anything novel?
The show is slated for April 28th, only two months away with much still to be revealed and determined. How will the MTV crowd react, and is there any way to in fact determine whether or not it is a success? In the meantime, what categories would you like to see relating to social media? Can Kanye win for Best Celeb Tweet and Dumbest Celeb Tweet? And should any of this even be considered a victory?