Hip-Hop Doubles Up At 2010 Video Music Awards

By Thomas A. Harden

As Diddy proclaimed on his 1997 smash hit, "It’s all about the Benjamins, baby!"

From the return of Eminem, Kanye West and Usher to debut performances from newcomers Drake, Nicki Minaj and B.o.B, the 2010 VMA all-star hip-hop lineup has driven MTV’s stock through the roof.

According to Adage.com, this year’s Video Music Awards ad revenue has significantly increased from last year’s broadcast. With the addition of 10 new advertisers and over 25 brands, the 2010 VMAs have become very attractive to advertisers. Dan Lovinger, MTV’s senior VP-ad sales and integrated marketing, said sales booked for Sunday’s show topped last year by 26% while total VMA coverage including news and encore performances is up 41% in ad revenue. And MTV.com’s related ad sales are up 68%.

The VMAs became the most-watched non-sports telecast among 12- to 34-year-olds in 2009, averaging over 11 million viewers across three airings, which is a 21% increase from the 2008 VMAs of 9.1 million viewers.

Official sponsors for this year’s awards include, Experian's Freecreditscore.com, Honda's CR-Z Sport Hybrid, Rhapsody, Taco Bell, Verizon Wireless and Wrigley's 5 React Gum. Wrigley’s will sponsor the user-generated Best New Artist award that pits Nicki Minaj against Justin Bieber. And after a three-year hiatus, GM Chevrolet returns to the VMAs as an official sponsor as well, for their all-new compact whip the Chevy Cruze -- which will feature spots from Ciara and N.E.R.D.

Yahoo! even joined the party. The Internet giant supplemented commercials for Yahoo! Music and Yahoo! search by co-creating the online series “Behind the Lens,” giving MTV viewers and Yahoo! users behind-the-scenes coverage of the making of this year’s nominated videos.

Do you think this year’s VMAs are powered by hip-hop? Let us know in the comments.