The VMA’s Recipe for Success

The ratings are in and the MTV Video Music Awards had its best ratings ever this past weekend with 12.4 million viewers. Interesting since MTV barely shows any music videos anymore. However, there were a few things that stood out this year that could have contributed to the success.

There was no host. Many awards shows make a scene over who will be hosting and the performance can boost or sully the event. Think Ricky Gervais (Golden Globes) or Anne Hathaway and James Franco (Oscars). The MTV Awards just went from category, to performance, to commercial, and back with a running list of presenters.

People love celebrity news. Beyoncé drew massive amounts of attention to the show by breaking the news about her bun in the oven on the VMA red carpet. The news continued when she ended her performance by striking a pose with her baby belly and the cameras caught reaction from Jay-Z and Kanye West, all of which was genuinely touching. The scoop broke Twitter records (8,838 tweets per second!) and made everyone feel all warm and fuzzy.

Stay edgy. From the crazy outfits (some really were trying too hard) to the constant editing for course language (to put it nicely), the VMAs brought a bit of the risqué vibe that the kids love. The show also insists on showcasing musicians that have caused controversy in the past — Kanye and Chris Brown — and others that you know will bring the crazy — Lady Gaga/Jo Calderone. (Kanye and Jay-Z were pretty awesome with their performance of “Otis,” above.) It keeps things interesting and keeps people coming back.