Rejiggered YouTube Music Awards to Return Next Year

Music fans will help guide the awards process next year, when music becomes the "headline act" on the site

YouTube Music Awards in New York November 3rd, 2013. Credit: Andrew Kelly/Corbis

Following a year off, the YouTube Music Awards will return next year in a new, fan-focused format. Reps for the site say it will dedicate a day in March to making music "the headline act." It will spotlight collaborations between notable video directors and music acts of all sizes. YouTube will involve music fans in helping guide and create the videos.

To ramp up to the big day, the video site has launched a new awards channel, which will feature additional new videos in the coming week from GD X TAEYANG and Megan Nicole. The channel will host more videos in December and include more news about the awards in January.

The announcement follows the recent launch of YouTube Music Key, an ad-free subscription service that features access to more than 30 million songs through Google Play Music. The service is still in its beta phase. 

The 2013 YouTube Music Awards were filmed at an unconventional location – a New York warehouse at Pier 36 – and were directed by filmmaker Spike Jonze. The event's co-hosts, Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts, were not allowed to rehearse before filming and were forced to search for the award winners as if they were taking part in a scavenger hunt. The awkward but fascinating ceremony featured performances from Eminem, Lady Gaga, Tyler, the Creator, Avicii, Earl Sweatshirt and Arcade Fire, among others.

Ultimately, Eminem took home Artist of the Year at the 2013 event, while Macklemore and Ryan Lewis received the award for YouTube Breakthrough. Girls' Generation were awarded Video of the Year for their "I Got a Boy" clip, beating out big-name acts like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and One Direction.

According to Variety, the production drew an estimated peak audience of 220,000 viewers, but the on-demand viewings have reached over 54 million. 

"None of us have ever done an awards show before," Jonze told Rolling Stone of the event days before filming, "so we're sort of making it up as we go along."