YouTube will air its first ever YouTube Music Awards on November 3rd, but until that date arrives, fans have two weeks to cast votes for their favorite musicians.
Musician, comedian, and genuine weird person Reggie Watts, who will co-host the show, has appeared in a video explaining the voting mechanism. On the YouTube Spotlight channel, one video has been posted for each nominee in each category. Fans are instructed to share the videos of their favorite candidates on social media, and the most shared video in each category will be declared the winner. Of course, this being Reggie Watts, he uses countless props, fire, and a dinosaur to help explain these rules.
The nominees are spread across six categories. Video of the Year and Artist of the Year are self-explanatory, YouTube Phenomenon recognizes fads like the Harlem Shake, YouTube Breakthrough celebrates artists who have cranked up the size of their YouTube audiences in the past year, Innovation of the Year focuses on innovative videos (such as Anamanaguchi’s ‘Endless Fantasy’ video) that made a splash, and Response of the Year focuses on covers of well-known songs.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis paced the field with four nominations. YouTubers like Lindsey Stirling, Boyce Avenue, and DeStorm scored nominations in the more unique categories, but Epic Rap Battles of History was the only non-traditional musical group to score nominations for Artist and Video of the Year.
Watts’ co-host Jason Schwartzman also appeared in a teaser video for the upcoming show, which will be directed by Spike Jonze and will feature many performances, including five newly-announced ones: Avicii, M.I.A., Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler the Creator, and Walk Off the Earth.
Video of the Year: Honoring the world’s most loved music videos, these nominees represent the videos with the most fan engagement on YouTube over the last year.
- Demi Lovato – Heart Attack
- Epic Rap Battles of History – Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney
- Girls’ Generation – I Got A Boy
- Justin Bieber (feat. Nicki Minaj) – Beauty And A Beat
- Lady Gaga – Applause
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) – Same Love
- Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
- One Direction – Best Song Ever
- PSY – Gentleman
- Selena Gomez – Come & Get It
Artist of the Year: Honoring the acts YouTube fans have made stars, nominees represent the most watched, shared, liked, and subscribed-to artists on YouTube.
- Epic Rap Battles of History
- Justin Bieber
- Katy Perry
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Nicki Minaj
- One Direction
- Taylor Swift
Response of the Year: Honoring the best fan remix, parody or response video, these nominees represent the top “unofficial” fan videos on YouTube based on your views, shares and other activity.
- Boyce Avenue (feat. Fifth Harmony) – Mirrors
- Jayesslee – Gangnam Style
- Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix – Radioactive
- ThePianoGuys – Titanium / Pavane
- Walk Off the Earth (feat. KRNFX) – I Knew You Were Trouble
YouTube Phenomenon: Recognizing the YouTube trends the world could not escape from, nominees are based on the phenomena that generated the most fan videos.
- Gangnam Style
- Harlem Shake
- I Knew You Were Trouble
- Thrift Shop
YouTube Breakthrough: Honoring the music world’s breakout new acts, nominees represent the artists who experienced the biggest growth in views and subscribers.
- Kendrick Lamar
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Naughty Boy
Innovation of the Year: Starting with videos selected by an international panel of musicians, YouTubers and creative luminaries, we then selected the creative video innovations that resonated most with fans on YouTube, based on views, likes, shares and comments.
- Anamanaguchi – ENDLESS FANTASY
- Atoms For Peace – Ingenue
- Bat For Lashes – Lilies
- DeStorm – See Me Standing
- Toro Y Moi “Say That”