Despacito’s getting snubbed. But does the industry care about the MTV Video Music Awards anymore?
Last week, ‘Despacito’ became the most-watched music video on YouTube. Correction: it became the most watched video — period – in the platform’s history.
MTV executives, however, ruled the video ineligible for this year’s Video Music Awards (VMAs). But with fewer people watching the once-popular awards show, will this notable snub make any difference at all?
After nearly seven months on the Google-owned platform, Luis Fonsi’s track ‘Despacito’ featuring Daddy Yankee topped Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again.’ On August 4th, the single had 2.994 billion views. It became the fastest-rising video in the history of the internet.
YouTube also declared that it would become the first video to reach three billion views, a feat accomplished only days later. The music video currently has 3,216,690,597 views. In addition, ‘Despacito’ is also the most liked video on the platform.
Despite the historic feat, the popular Latin track didn’t earn a single nomination at this year’s Video Music Awards.
According to MTV, Universal Music Latin Entertainment (UMLE) didn’t submit the song for consideration.
The record label quickly fought back. According to them, the network chose to snub the video. In a statement to the Associated Press, UMLE stated that MTV didn’t ask for a submission until after the network had already released their nominations.
“Until last week, MTV hadn’t solicited UMLE to submit the video for consideration.”
MTV didn’t state why it waited a week after the Video Music Awards nominations had been announced. They first announced VMA nominations on July 25th. In addition, ‘Despacito’ doesn’t air on its main channels, MTV or MTV2. It only airs on MTVTres, the network’s Latin channel. MTV also declined to state why it won’t air ‘Despacito’ on their main channels.
As a concession, the network agreed to recognize ‘Despacito’ in the Video Music Awards’ ‘Song of Summer’ category. But maybe that’s just adding insult to injury.
In a statement, Universal Music Latin Entertainment added,
“UMLE is surprised and happy to learn that MTV plans to recognize ‘Despacito’ in the VMA’s ‘Song of Summer’ category. We hope the nomination will lead to [the network] airing the full video on their main channels.”
“We’re proud to work with [the network] to expose new audiences to our artists’ music and we would welcome MTV’s decision to recognize Spanish-language videos on its main channel and the Music Video Awards program.”
Last year’s Video Music Awards saw a harsh ratings drop. According to Deadline, viewership fell to 8.3 million, down 21.6% from the year prior.
Featured image: YouTube screen grab