This week, MTV launched the first-ever O-Awards, celebrating music artists who have conquered the digital world. What does that mean? It means artists will win awards for being ‘the most followed on Twitter’, ‘the most viral dance’ and the ‘best independent music blog’, to name a few of the categories.
This new evolution in music awards would have been unheard of a decade ago. In 1999, Napster was launched and completely transformed the music landscape forever, allowing fans to share musical content at huge volumes. It also gave us access to music that would traditionally be very difficult to find in your local CD store. Small emerging artists in unknown towns now had a medium to share their music with people on the other side of the globe. While YouTube may have seen the largest volume of new artists gain in popularity, Napster was the first to really set the ball rolling.
Napster shut down its free network in 2001 but that didn’t stop people from sharing content online. It’s incredible that there’s now enough demand to have an award ceremony like the MTV O-Awards. In Australia, more traditional organisations are taking notice of digital with OzTam, the official source of television audience measurement, having just announced that by the end of the year, they’ll have a new system in place to measure online viewing and multitasking (see the story here on AdNews).
So, will you be casting your votes for the O-Awards? This one’s my pick for ‘Most Viral Dance’.