Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This year's broadcast wins the award for Lowest Rated VMAs Ever

Photo: Michael Loccisano (Getty Images)

MTV’s Video Music Awards were something of a dud this year, with viewers seemingly more interested in Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s red carpet necking than Jennifer Lopez’s Video Vanguard win and subsequent performance. And then there was Madonna’s disastrous “tribute” to the late Aretha Franklin, and the drama surrounding Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott’s seating arrangements. If you have no idea who actually won, you’re not alone. Nevertheless, we’ve got you covered.

The result made for the lowest-rated VMAs of all time, but, as Billboard points out, it offer “some glimmers of hope for the network.” Consumption of VMA-related digital content nearly doubled from last year, with 141.6 million streams eclipsing last year’s total of 76 million. Considering the kids live online these days, those are solid numbers, and a salve for the paltry 5.23 million who watched the ceremony live, a number that’s down from last year’s audience of 5.68 million.


That said, the decline in viewership isn’t nearly as stark as it’s been in recent years, which is impressive considering the show about music videos somehow failed to score the artist behind the year’s most talked-about music video. Wherefore art thou, Donald Glover?

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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