When it comes to awards shows, MTV has spent the past three decades breaking the mold. Come spring, they'll try to invent a new mold altogether.
On Wednesday, the network revealed it is planning an entirely new awards show, one aimed at honoring digital music and media. And unlike the long-running Video Music Awards and Movie Awards — which lampoon traditionally stodgy fetes like the Grammys and the Oscars — this time out, there's no pre-existing blueprint to go up against. This will be an entirely new undertaking.
"I think the idea we're trying to convey is: We have the current heavyweight champions of music and movie awards shows, and we love them — they're a great place for celebrating music and movies — but we also think something new is going on," Dermot McCormack, head of digital for MTV Music and Logo Group, told MTV News on Thursday (January 20). "The industry has evolved into a digital medium, and fans have evolved right along with it. So we figured it was time to re-examine how we reward achievement in these new mediums."
McCormack said the still-untitled show will premiere in the spring, and will air live on the Internet, on social media sites and mobile devices — but will not be broadcast.
"This is a tent pole born from the digital medium, so the rules of television don't really apply here," he said. "We're a multi-screen company, and everything we do should take advantage of all our screens. This show may air, but it definitely will not be something live from 8 to 10 p.m. on MTV. One of the great opportunities with digital is that we remove constraints. And when we do, we think great creativity will show up."
And while the awards categories are still being determined, McCormack said fans can expect to see their favorite music apps and blogs honored in a way that's befitting of MTV's awards-show legacy.
"Expect to see something that you wouldn't typically see," he said. "The idea here is to create a response to this great renaissance that's happening, the activity and revolution in the music business. It's not only about where music is today, but where it's going too. We want to stake a claim in that while still dipping into our heritage. When the first VMAs happened [in 1984], you had Dan Aykroyd coming out smoking a cigarette. That's the same spirit we'd like to capture here."
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