April 6, 2011

Is MTV Paving the Way or Grasping at Relevance? by Ron Roecker

When MTV announced the creation of the OMAs (or O Awards -- which, by the way, "O" was never defined), this is how they set the whOle thing up:

Your life and your music are all online. The Internet is an endless well of music. And that’s why MTV is ushering in the next wave of music award shows. And we’re doing it online with the  first-ever OMAs, an all-out, unhinged online awards show, complete with never-before-seen music collaborations and performances, and music moments honoring artists, fans, and innovators driving – and changing – digital music.

According to Dermot McCormack, head of MTV Music Group digital, The O Awards will “honor the migration of music to the digital space, and celebrate the art, artistry and technology of digital music.”

As a former network music awards show producer, I can tell you pretty much what that actually means: "we're trying to sound hip and cool while also giving us enough vagueness to be able to commercialize the hell out of the event when we're driven by sponsor dollars."

Associated Press reports this when talking about how the awards will be handed out:
MTV plans to present an untraditional, heavily interactive award show, spread out across multiple screens, including the Internet, social media and mobile.
 So as far as I can tell...the announcement of the new O awards -- Lady Gaga leads with three btw -- was fast-tracked by some new snotty nosed exec at MTV because they were desperate to talk about something that MTV was doing that was actually still interesting or applicable.  I'm sure every staffer at MTV is defining the show and the award however he/she needs to define it in order to get his/her particular job accomplished (in order to keep said particular job).  YouTube did YouTube Live 2-3 years ago and THAT was the first online awards show that celebrated the celebrities of YouTube.  That was an amazing event if you missed it.

Depending on the real intent, actual execution and by-the-numbers "ratings," this new endeavor will have one of two O-utcomes:  O, MTV is BACK!  or O, didn't MTV used to air reality shows or something?