The 2018 VMAs, which took place at New York City's famed Radio City Music Hall, set a new record Monday night … but it was nothing to brag about.
Though the ceremony boasted performances by Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott, Aerosmith, and Jennifer Lopez, it only drew 2.25 million viewers on MTV’s flagship channel and a total of 5.234 million viewers across 11 Viacom-owned channels. Variety points out the show received a 2.34 rating among adults 18-49.
These figures are disappointing, no doubt. But are they really that surprising?
The VMAs have struggled to retain viewership throughout the decade. Last year’s VMAs were previously deemed the lowest-rated in MTV’s history, garnering a total of 5.4 million viewers. 2016’s drew 6.5 million; 2015 drew 9.8 million; and 2014 drew 10.3.
One would assume that people are no longer interested in the VMAs; however, you have to remember that today’s audiences are consuming entertainment in different ways. You know what we’re talking about: digital streams.
According to MTV, the 2018 VMAs drew 141.6 million streams Monday night, becoming the most streamed award show in Viacom’s history. The network also claims that social engagement for the show surged 46 percent. So it's clear the VMAs haven't completely lost their relevancy.
Let's see how next year's ceremony fares.