MTV’s VMA Ratings Continue to Rebound After Record-Low 2021 Viewership

MTV VMA ratings
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MTV VMA ratings
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Photo Credit: MTV YouTube

MTV’s VMA ratings continue to rebound after record-low viewership in 2021 — due to a combination of a record number of new artists up for awards, Taylor Swift’s award sweep, and an NSYNC reunion.

After two considerably lean viewership years for the MTV Video Music Awards in 2021 and 2022, the awards show saw a noticeable increase in viewership this year per Nielsen ratings from Tuesday. On-air final same-day Nielsen ratings show the VMAs bringing in 913,000 viewers — a 29.5% jump from last year’s show (705,000) and slightly above the viewership in 2021 (900,000).

Further, the MTV VMAs showed notable improvements in the channel’s core demographic of adults aged 18-34, more than doubling last year’s show, and adults 18-49, up by 77% year-to-year.

The show’s MTV-based viewings scored 1.14 among the 18-34 core demographic in homes with MTV available (around 70 million) — the show’s best score since 2019. The 1.03 rating it received from adults 18-49 is also a three-year high. Moreover, it received its best Tuesday night showing in almost a decade — since 2014. The VMAs in 2022 aired on a Sunday.

Though the MTV-only numbers only represent a fraction of the show’s total audience, the CW did not simulcast the VMAs this year after doing so in 2021 and 2022, which may impact the final same-day totals.

Unsurprisingly, Taylor Swift took home the lion’s share of the prizes for the night, having won video of the year for “Anti-Hero.” This is her second win in that category, and Swift took home eight of the eleven awards for which she was nominated this year.

Swift has made history yet again at this year’s VMAs after taking home the trophy for “Anti-Hero” — which she directed herself — and now has the second most overall wins with a total of 23. Beyonce still reigns supreme with 26 VMA Moonmen to her name.

Taylor was also the only artist at the VMAs to have a cameraman continuously filming her. She was also noticeably starstruck from accepting the first VMA of the evening (for Best Pop Music Video) from NSYNC, who reunited onstage at the ceremony.

“I’m not doing well pivoting from this to this (being an NSYNC fan to accepting awards),” said Swift. “Like, I had your dolls!”

Swift also continued NSYNC’s ongoing reunion teasers amplified by the upcoming Trolls film (which is said to feature new music from the group).

“Are you guys gonna do something? I need to know what it is!” said Swift.