Ah, who cares about ratings anyway?! Well, you know, networks do. And advertisers. And in the case of the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, the numbers were… not great. Deadline is reporting that the award show bursting with performances from Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Future, and multiple sets from Rihanna only garnered 6.5 million viewers. This is down from the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards which held 9.8 million viewers and the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards which hosted 10.3 million viewers. And it doubly hurts because the ceremonies were broadcast across 11 networks including MTV, MTV2, MTV Classic, VH1, Comedy Central, Spike, TV Land, BET, CMT, Centric and Logo.
But all is not gloom and doom; maybe we should just pay attention to where the eyeballs are going, instead of where they should be. In our case, this refers to streaming. MTV notes that the show and its parts had 62.8 million video streams, adding that number was “up 70% from day-of-show’s 36.8 million in 2015.” Apparently, much like the TV channel itself, viewers would much rather get their content online via a computer or on their devices than on an actual television set.
So is this a win or a loss for MTV? It’s hard to say. But in any event, this is a win for Beyoncé, because she’s incapable of taking an L.