YouTube Awards Provides Subscriber Boost—for Some Acts

Impact of the show should be clearer over time

Eminem and Taylor Swift were big winners at last night's YouTube Music Awards. Curiously, so were One Direction and PewDiePie—even though neither act was part of the show.

According to the analytics firm VidStatsX, the YouTube channels gaining the most subscribers in the last 24 hours (as of 10 a.m.) include YouTube Spotlight—which showcases YouTube content like the awards—as well as Eminem's Vevo channel. Spotlight picked up nearly 140,000 new subscribers during the past 24 hours, while Eminem landed about 25,000 new subs.

That would indicate a YouTube Awards bounce, considering that Eminem performed at last night's show. However, the Michigan-native rapper was only the seventh-biggest gainer in terms of subscribers since the YouTube Awards. In second place behind the Spotlight channel was One Direction, which picked up more than 91,000 new subscribers over the past 24 hours, followed by PewDiePie, which nabbed more than 36,000. 

Other big gainers, per VidStatsX, were Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry's Vevo channels. Neither performed at the show.

Of course, subscriber gains are just one way to look at last night's event, which according to The New York Times attracted roughly 200,000 views at a given moment (we're still waiting for total audience numbers from YouTube). And, while big acts like Eminem helped legitimize the awards show, it was really designed to celebrate the best of YouTube and YouTube-esque phenomena like response videos. Eminem did win artist of the year, but it was the K-Pop group Girls' Generation that took home best video for I Got a Boy, a clip that boasts nearly 75 million views but is hardly a household name.

Other winners from the inaugural show:

Response of the Year: Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix – Radioactive

YouTube Phenomenon: Taylor Swift's  I Knew You Were Trouble                                                 

YouTube Breakthrough: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Innovation of the Year: DeStorm's See Me Standing