The chaotic, totally impromptu revolution wasn’t televised, and maybe that was the problem. Because despite having the largest music audience on the planet, and some of the biggest artists streamed by that audience, YouTube was unable to draw a meaningful audience to its inaugural live-streamed Music Awards.
The on-demand masses simply didn’t re-arrange their schedules, or notice. Throughout, the YouTube Music Awards audience hovered around 175,000 simultaneous users during its broadcast, with a peak of 220,000 when Lady Gaga came around. Post-event streaming numbers are lukewarm, partly because it’s difficult to find.
MTV’s Video Music Awards, by indirect comparison, had 10.1 million viewers.