This year, the MTV Video Music Awards are heading across the Hudson River to Newark, N.J. — hitting the Garden State for the first time ever — and the 2019 VMAs will feature a unique Twitter live-streaming video angle.
The VMAs are set for Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, to be held at Newark’s Prudential Center arena, MTV announced Monday. For the cabler’s tentpole event, MTV is teaming with Twitter to launch a new fan experience: The MTV VMA Stan Cam, a live, interactive viewing experience that will let viewers vote on which camera feeds they want to see. It’s a Twitter first for a live awards show.
For select VMA performances and show moments, MTV will ask followers on Twitter to pick among three celebrity audience members to feature on a live-reaction cam. MTV also expects the VMA Stan Cam to serve up behind-the-scenes moments with talent backstage.
MTV made the announcements at Twitter’s Digital Content NewFronts presentation Monday.
“We’re putting fans in the director’s chair,” said Jacqueline Parkes, CMO and executive VP of digital studios for MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo. “We wanted to give them something they haven’t had before and connect them to what they want to see the most.”
MTV also is considering inserting the Stan Cam fan-selected live-streams into the live TV broadcast during commercial breaks, in a picture-in-picture corner window. (“Stan Cam” is a reference to MTV’s unofficial motto of “What do you stan for?”, Parkes said.)
The VMA Stan Cam on Twitter will likely have a sponsor, but the overriding goal is to bring fans closer to the live event, Parkes said: “It’s as much a marketing case as much as business case, to create an integrated fan experience.”
While the VMA Stan Cam will be a first for awards shows, Twitter launched a similar execution with the NBA and Turner Sports for this basketball season. That let hoops fans watch the second half of 20 NBA games through a single-player camera feed, focusing on a different player each game as selected via a fan vote.
MTV has been a longtime Twitter partner, Parkes noted, going way back to 2007, when the VMAs had celebs sign up for the social network and tweet from the red carpet.
“We’re so excited to continue the strong partnership we have with Viacom and work with MTV to introduce the VMA Stan Cam this year,” said Sarah Rosen, Twitter’s head of U.S. entertainment partnerships. “The VMAs have some of the best fans, which makes it the perfect show to launch the Stan Cam on Twitter.“
Last year’s VMAs took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and in past years have taken place in L.A. at The Forum, Staples Center and Nokia Theatre as well as venues at the American Airlines Arena in Miami and Brooklyn’s Barclays Theater.
The 2018 VMAs saw an 8% dip in total viewers on linear TV, to an all-time low — while the online viewing audience grew, and it registered as the most-social VMAs ever with 20 million engagements (up 46%). The telecast averaged 5.234 million viewers across 11 networks, down 8%, per Nielsen. Last year’s VMAs drew some 285 million digital streams, making it the most-streamed awards show in Viacom’s history.