YouTube Music Awards

YouTube Music Awards

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Updated Mar 04, 2014 at 12:41AM EST by Brad.

Added Nov 04, 2013 at 02:27PM EST by Don.

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The YouTube Music Awards is an annual music video award show presented by YouTube to recognize the most influential artists of the year as voted by the audience. The inaugural event was held in New York City on November 3rd, 2013.


On September 30th, 2013, YouTube announced its plan to host the first YouTube Music Awards with a promotional video introducing actor Jason Schwartzman as the co-host of the ceremony (shown below, left). On October 22nd, YouTube released another promotional video starring the co-host Reggie Watson, which revealed the list of nominees in six categories and asked the viewers to vote for the winning acts. (shown below, right).

Notable Developments


Video of The Year
  • Epic Rap Battles of History – “Obama vs Romney”
  • Demi Lovato –­ “Heart Attack”
  • Girls’ Generation –­ “I Got a Boy”
  • Justin Bieber (ft. Nicki Minaj) –­ “Beauty and a Beat”
  • Lady Gaga ­– “Applause”
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis –­ “Same Love”
  • Miley Cyrus ­– “We Can’t Stop”
  • One Direction ­– “Best Song Ever”
  • PSY ­– “Gentleman”
  • Selena Gomez –­ “Come & Get It”
Artist of the Year
Response of the Year
YouTube Phenomenon
YouTube Breakthrough
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Naughty Boy
  • Passenger
  • Rudimental
Innovation of the Year
  • Anamanguchi -- “Endless Fantasy”
  • Atoms For Peace –­ “Ingenue”
  • Bat For Lashes ­– “Lilies”
  • DeStorm –­ “See Me Standing”
  • Toro Y Moi – “Say That”

The Ceremony

On November 3rd, the award show commenced at Pier 36 in New York City, featuring Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watt as the co-hosts with creative direction by director Spike Jonze, in addition to a series of live performances by Lady Gaga, Eminem (shown below, left), Arcade Fire, Avicii, Tyler the Creator, M.I.A. and Lindsey Stirling (shown below, right). According to Variety[6], the livestream event drew as many as 220,000 viewers online.


  • Girls’ Generation won The Video of the Year for their 2013 music video “I Got a Boy.”
  • Macklemore won the YouTube Breakthrough Award for the Thrift Shop music video.
  • Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix won the Response of the Year for the video “Radioactive”
  • Walk Off The Earth and KRNFX won the YouTube Phenomenon Award for their cover of I Knew You Were Trouble.
  • DeStorm won the Innovation Prize for the “See Me Standing” music video.
  • Rapper Eminem won the Artist of the Year.

News Media Coverage

During the ceremony, the tech news blog TechCrunch[1] liveblogged the event, noting that the program was “chaotic.” After the show, several news sites published articles about the program, including ABC,[2]USA Today,[5] Rolling Stone[3] and The New York Times,[4] who described the event as confused, bizarre and unorganized.

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