Like cultural upstart-turned-institution MTV before it, YouTube is moving into the realm of music awards shows this fall in the name of awesome spectacle, big name stars and ultimately meaningless trophies.
For the first YouTube Music Awards, the video channel giant has recruited some heavy-hitters with new albums to promote: Lady Gaga, Eminem and Arcade Fire, the Canadian indie outfit who've been moving in the direction of promotional glitz this year with graffiti campaigns and a trippy half-hour NBC special.
Spike Jonze—director of Where the Wild Things Are and music videos for iconoclasts like Bjork and Kanye West—is serving as the creative director of the live event, which takes place on November 3 at Pier 36 in New York.
The 90-minute awards extravaganza—sponsored by Kia, live streaming on YouTube—will find the video channel giving out six awards, all of them fan-voted. Jason Schwartzman will host the gala, hopefully in the persona of his villainous indie music producer from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
"I want to find out if we can make a whole night just about making things," Jonze told Billboard of the "unconventional" awards show he was challenged to create. "Instead of just doing performances, can we do live collaborations?"
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say "yes," they can create live collaborations with budgetary help from Kia, but we'll find out for sure on November 3.