MTV VMA Ratings Hit All Time Low

Published: Thursday 29th Aug 2019 by Rashad

Not even a collection of stage-blazing performances from the likes of Missy Elliott, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Normani, and Taylor Swift were enough to help the MTV VMAs drum up an increase in viewership. After netting their worst ratings ever with the 2018 showing (click here for details), the hopes were probably a bit higher for the 2019 edition.

Preliminary figures revealed after its first airing offered a bleak outlook, one confirmed by newly furnished final figures that indicate this year’s take on the annual awards show were their lowest in history.

But, it’s not all bad news.  Click below to see what we mean:

Viewership:  1.93 million

THR reports:

“Monday’s kudocast on MTV drew 1.93 million viewers…That’s an all-time low for the flagship channel, down from the previous low — set last year — of 2.25 million viewers…

The awards were also simulcast on 11 other Viacom channels (VH1, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network, CMT, MTV2, TV Land, MTV Classic, Logo and BETHer). The 12-network telecast recorded a 6 percent drop among adults 18-49, which is a better showing than the MTV Movie and TV Awards, Teen Choice Awards, Tony Awards and Billboard Music Awards, all of which fell by double digits. Complete viewership numbers for all 12 channels tallies 4.9 million, also down about 6 percent from last year’s 5.2 million viewers (on 10 channels).”

The good news?

“The awards ceremony also recorded big gains in social and online video views, which were up 85 percent year to year and a key point of emphasis in reaching the network’s core young-adult audience. Social engagement around the VMAs also more than doubled year to year in the month leading up to the awards, per figures from Conviva Social Insights.”


[main photo source:  Getty Images]

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  1. JustSaying August 29, 2019

    No one watches TV anymore and rather get updated via social media. Nothing major.

    • Fancy BISH August 29, 2019

      VMA’s is officially irrelevant now that they’ve awarded Ariana Grande Song Of The Summer for her flop song Boyfriend! I’m just DONE ? Like, we all know Old Town Road was the elephant in the room…how in the WORLD did Ariana even get nominated for a flop song that just came out and flopped, let alone win for the floppity flop ? MTV’s fan voting is terrible because a person can vote multiple times ? Well, I know one thing…Ariana’s fans voted to the GODS ? for #Flopfriend

  2. XYZ August 29, 2019

    And it will get worse. No one cares for that Show of the industry celebrating itself. If we are honest, none of us cared for the show. We all cared for the performances. And you can see them on YouTube. So why should anybody watch the blablabla?

  3. Clarkson August 29, 2019

    Social media is the cause.

    Back in the days if u wanted to see your favourite celebrity or musician, u had to tune in to these award shows. Today if u want to see what favourite celebrity did today, all u have to do is open Instagram or Facebook or Twitter.

    Secondly nobody wants to see rich people giving themselves awards for being rich.

    • The Truth August 29, 2019

      I actually agree with you for the second time on something…

  4. Queef August 29, 2019

    They have to get like the radio. If you want people to watch you have to have some kind of incentive to get people to be tuned in.

    • Detruth August 29, 2019

      That’s actually pretty smart like yea free giveaways for ppl that call in during live shows. Watch them start doing this. We giving free advice we should be paid lol.

  5. Brent Christopher August 29, 2019

    The MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS are no longer popular because the network no longer has a built in audience. The showcase was always promoted & hyped up during daily spins of TRL, REAL WORLD, SPRING BREAK and other flagship shows that highlighted young, vivid talent. People are routine. Tuning into MTV was built in to the fiber of a young persons daily & nightly regiment. Now, watching MTV is an afterthought. In order to solidly increase viewership, MTV would have to recreate a series of shows (scripted & non) to draw in an organic, unique following. The network is lucky to still even hit the 1 million viewer mark.

    Awards Shows for music are also laughed at by the mainstream pop culture fan. Now that more people fully know and understand that artists aren’t winning for truly having the best songs, records & albums, the public no longer cares.

    Watching Beyonce receive countless golden statuettes that she never deserved in the first place, let’s the public know that the awards shows are political & favored.

    The fact that the real LEGENDS and ICONS would win one award per night and sometimes only one per decade, let’s us know that multiple nominations & multiple wins of modern day industry routine means that the standards have been significantly lowered.

    Music Awards are given out now like cups of water at a county track meet.

    When the music industry starts distributing honors like the Tony, Emmy, Golden Globe & Oscar committees do for SELECT performances, then we will begin watching in larger numbers.

    Additionally, celebrities need to delete their social media. They are way too accessible. We tuned in to these shows because it was the only time to really see your favorite stars. Now, this generation can wake up every morning to see, listen to, watch & interact with their favorite celeb. The novelty & exclusivity is GONE. Why would anyone bother to watch a show when their favorite rapper or singer will simply have their team steaming the whole sh*t on LIVE or will constantly post pics & other video clips through it awards night.

    There is way TOO MUCH accessibility in modern day culture. I hate it! Celebrities are not meant to be seen on a daily basis. The lines are so blurred now. EVERYONE can be considered “famous” at this point.

    • SMH August 29, 2019

      ALL of this.

    • Keith August 29, 2019

      @BrentChristopher: Very interesting and relevant points!

      • Urg August 29, 2019

        For one I agree with Brent’s ranting!!

    • Erica August 29, 2019

      Preach!! Beyoncé shouldn’t have 20+ Grammys compare to MJ & Mariah who have like 12 combine, I mean that’s entire joke both of their catalogs Annihilate Beyoncé it’s no comparison

    • Haterz Gon‘ Hate August 29, 2019

      And yet you just cannot keep Beyoncé’s name out cho MOUTH. Like show me ONE single person who said they would stop watching the MTV awards because Beyoncé was too celebrated, too awarded, too recognised, too visible? I’ll wait. Your tiny pea sized brain is missing the bigger shift here: PEOPLE HAVE SHIFTED TO SOCIAL MEDIA – Reading is comprehending – it is noted in the article about the uptick year on year in social media VIEWERSHIP.

      It’s no different from people going from renting DVD and video to streaming – THINGS HAVE CHANGED – accept it and move TF on – stop trying to make this about politics – if buying awards and politics were that easy why doesn’t Mariah and Michael have more Moon Men and Grammies???? They’re rich, they had equally powerful label machines behind them – so prey tell, why did the industry bow to Beyoncé and not them if it’s that easy?? That is foolish biased logic and you know it. FOH. SMH ??‍♂️

  6. The Real Princess Jasmine August 29, 2019

    When you have girls like CardiB reading a TelePrompTer knowing she can’t read or write I knew The ratings would be low

  7. Meme August 29, 2019

    That’s cool. Don’t worry about ratings. It’s not an indication of the show, moreso the no tv/cable we’re in now. Ppl rather wait and watch the clips they want after the show than sit thru the show.

    With that being said, this years awards was one of the best they’ve had in awhile. I keep preaching that we need a new batch of superstars and I can see that it’s finally getting to that point where the older stars are doing other things and giving newcomers a chance. Taylor Swift was the only A list vet who was there.

    Camilla, cardi, Shawn Mendez, normani, lil nas, Bebe, Halsey….they are like the new age Xtina, Justin Timberlake, Kim, Beyoncé, pink etc. and I’m here for all of it.

    • SMH August 29, 2019

      They don’t have the star power as the vets, hence the terrible show & low ratings.

    • Miss Aphrodite August 29, 2019

      This happens every year though. Award shows are pointless in the grand scheme of things. As people have already mentioned, we already have social media and YouTube, so most have cut out the middle man and only watch the performances of their choice! Plus everyone’s cutting the cord due to outrageous cable costs. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been happening for the past decade. It is what it is.

    • Sage August 29, 2019

      People on here refuse to accept that! Sadly the days of Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki, Gaga and Katy are over! They had their time. There’s a new generation of pop fans in town, and they can’t relate to artists in their early-late 30’s. That’s just the way it goes!

      • Meme August 29, 2019

        Yeah but still feel Gaga and Rihanna still have more fire in them. They are the only 2 A listers I can say I’m still eagerly awaiting new music from. Everyone else is already far pass their prime.

  8. Tyty August 29, 2019

    No star power at these shows.. Award politics which are now often public for all to see and hear. Plus social media and it’s clips.

  9. The Truth August 29, 2019

    The viewership decreases each year for every awards show. However, I bet Nicki Minaj won’t disrespect the VMA’s ratings like she did the BET Awards ratings.

    I personally thought this years VMA’s was much better than the past few years! But Taylor should not have opened the show..

    • Queef August 29, 2019

      Because MTV doesn’t do self hate post about their own people on social media in order to build up another artist

    • REN August 29, 2019

      The VMAs staff didn’t talk s*** about Nicki but BET staff did. Therefore, there’s no need for Nicki to come at MTV or the VMAs.

      • Just Sayin’ August 29, 2019

        Nicki went aftet BET cause their inter used their social media platform to drag her after Cardi B won. As f*** up Nicki is I don’t blame her for dragging them

  10. Miss Aphrodite August 29, 2019

    This happens every year though. Award shows are pointless in the grand scheme of things. As people have already mentioned, we already have social media and YouTube, so most have cut out the middle man and only watch the performances of their choice! Plus everyone’s cutting the cord due to outrageous cable costs. This isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s been happening for the past decade. It is what it is.

    • High Price August 29, 2019

      Exactly! I’m glad. I watch all my shows at my leisure. It’s never on the day it airs.

  11. The Truth August 29, 2019

    And why the hell did MTV start airing the VMA’s on Monday? This is more of a Sunday evening type of thing..IN MY OPINION

    • Clarkson August 29, 2019

      Theres serious competition on Sunday.

      All the good shows air on Sunday.
      Football also.

      • The Truth August 29, 2019

        Ah, gotcha. Thanks.

  12. Cory August 29, 2019

    Because in the golden day MTV did a great job at including new, young and legacy/older acts. The 1999 MTV Video Music Awards had Janet and Madonna. Prince and TLC. Diana Ross and Jordan Knight. David Bowie and Diddy. Jay Z and Backstreet Boys. Lauryn Hill and Nine Inch Nails. Run DMC and Aerosmith. There was something for everyone. If you liked old rockers you probably watched to see Aerosmith and David Bowie. If you liked the divas you were looking for Madonna, Janet and Jennifer Lopez. If you liked teen-pop you were looking for Britney, NSYNC, Jordan Knight and Backstreet Boys. If you were a fan of rap you had Jay Z, Eminem and Diddy the same night.

    MTV can’t get the older rock fan to watch, and probably can’t get the fan of the pop divas to watch just for Taylor Swift. They need a rebrand ASAP or just stop doing the show. It feels very much like the Teen Choice Awards.

    • Miss Aphrodite August 29, 2019

      Most veteran artists don’t participate in awards shows anymore because of the politics. They had no choice back in the day because it was promotion. These days, an awards show performance won’t even help your single budge on the Apple Music charts.

  13. Megatron August 29, 2019

    Nicki would have got the ratings up.

    • The Truth August 29, 2019

      lol…how so? The general public is completely OVER Nicki Minaj.

      • REN August 29, 2019

        I can’t tell, her name is always coming up. Even when Nicki shuts down her social media, don’t do any features and go off the grid her name still always comes up in conversations. Nicki’s name will never die out. When she do decide to retire y’all will continue to speak her name.

      • ELEKTRA ABUNDANCE August 29, 2019

        On urban blogs and twitter. No one cares about Nicki otherwise. The proof is in the pudding or should I say album
        And single sales….

    • ELEKTRA ABUNDANCE August 29, 2019

      Lol how so when no one even purchases or streams her music anymore? The delusion

  14. Jasmine Trump, MAGA August 29, 2019

    The show was a queeer pandering mess. It deserved lesser viewership

  15. High Price August 29, 2019

    Yup I agree with many on here. We are in the day of “stream” .. I personally didn’t watch the VMAs because I knew I could catch the performances I wanted to see on here, Twitter or YouTube. Right after the LIVE performances it went straight to YouTube. So it’s know riddle. That’s why I hope more of my favorite shows and newer shows get into partnership with Netflix or hulu, etc because this generation is on the go. We’re not sitting at home watching these shows. We’re out, at work, etc… I actually like it this way.

  16. pat August 29, 2019

    everybody waits for the youtube videos of their fav performances…. artist still get the exposure

  17. billy bob max a milli August 29, 2019

    No one has cable anymore forget about watching tv! People still watch tv but they stream it online, or they watch it on YouTube or watch Netflix and Hulu. Cable providers are expensive af! People rather pay for WiFi and subscribe to Netflix or another streamer. It’s cheaper!

  18. David Spence March 22, 2020

    mtv ratings would be higher if they aired beavis and butthead and mtv unplugged also they can air mtv news between segments they could air more music videos with vjs in between and trl and related shows would be cool too

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