Entertainment Music YouTube debuts first-ever music awards

YouTube debuts first-ever music awards

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YouTube will hold its first-ever music awards ceremony, in a star-studded showcase notable for some of the industry’s biggest names but also its webcast format.

Eminem, Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire and others will perform during the show on Sunday hosted by actor Jason Schwartzman and musician-comedian Reggie Watts.

Spike Jonze, the force behind a number of hit music videos and films, is creative director for the 90-minute affair, which will stream live from New York’s Pier 36 event space.

“None of us have done anything live before or an awards show – in a way we’re all like amateurs on YouTube ourselves, making our first video. So even if it’s messy, it’ll be live,” Jonze told industry trade publication Billboard.

The ceremony will air on the US East Coast at 6pm (1000 AEDT on Monday).

Australian act Jayesslee, comprising of Sydney-based twin sisters Janice and Sonia Lee, are nominated for the “Response of the Year” award for their cover of Psy’s global mega-hit “Gangnam Style”. The duo received over 35 million views for their version of the song while the original version from the Korean phenomenon has 242 million views and counting.

The inaugural YouTube Music Awards comes as web denizens increasingly turn to the Internet for streaming and demand programming.

It joins a variety of other industry awards such as the Grammys, MTV Video Music Awards and American Music Awards.

But unlike its cohorts, nominees and winners were tallied in a distinctly Internet-age manner.

“The winners will be decided by fans whose sharing activity this week and last will be tallied right up to Sunday night’s show,” YouTube wrote in a Friday blog post.

According to the blog, nominees were determined based “on a series of viewership, subscriber, and/or engagement metrics”.

In addition to shoe-ins such as Miley Cyrus, PSY, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, lesser-known nominees such as Demi Lovato and Girls’ Generation garnered a nod for the coveted best video award.

YouTube will award performers in six categories: artist of the year, video of the year, innovation of the year, response of the year (for videos that remixed or parodied), YouTube breakthrough and YouTube phenomenon (for trend-setting videos).

The clips nominated for video of the year have pulled in a combined total of 1.9 billion views, according to YouTube.

You can watch the awards live here: