2019 MTV Video Music Awards Suffer Record-Low Television Ratings

The network did manage to muster increases in online engagement.

(AllHipHop News) The MTV Video Music Awards were once a must-watched television event. Iconic moments such as Michael Jackson kissing Lisa Marie Presley on stage, Diana Ross fondling Lil Kim’s bare breast, and Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech sparked water cooler conversations.

It appears Millenials and Gen Z are not as interested in watching the Video Music Awards on TV as much as members of Generation X were in the past. The 2019 ceremony only drew 1.93 million viewers and a 0.9 rating which is reportedly an all-time low for the MTV network.

The Sebastian Maniscalco-hosted show was simulcast on eleven other Viacom channels, including MTV2, Comedy Central, BET, and VH1. The total numbers for all twelve channels hit 4.9 million viewers which were also down about 6% from 2018’s 5.2 million viewers on 10 channels. 

Even though the VMAs hit rating lows the past three years on television, MTV seems to be succeeding in the digital realm. Social media and online video views increased by 85% from 2018. That is a sign young people preferred to engage with VMAs content via the internet.

Pop superstar Taylor Swift opened the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards with a performance of “You Need to Calm Down” and “Lover.” Other notable performers included Missy Elliott, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Normani, and Queen Latifah. Many A-list celebrities – such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna, Drake, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, and Nicki Minaj – did not attend this year’s VMAs.