Google to host star-studded, globe-trotting YouTube Music Awards on November 3

Google wants to leverage YouTube’s popularity with music fans and transform the site into an authority on what the world is listening to. To further that quest, Google announced that the world’s most popular video site will hold its first YouTube Music Awards on Sunday, November 3—a glitzy, globe-trotting ceremony packed with pop stars and spanning four continents.

In true Google style, nominees for the awards will be based on the music videos people have been watching and sharing on YouTube over the past year. The company didn’t say whether it will count all music videos on the site, or only official versions on popular YouTube channels such as Vevo, however.

The ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube with performances by Lady Gaga, Eminem, Arcade Fire, and YouTube sensations such as Lindsey Sterling. The awards show itself will take place in New York City, with satellite events happening in Seoul, Moscow, London, and Rio.

In a play to attract the hipster demographic, Google has tapped Spike Jonze to direct the awards and actor Jason Schwartzman will host.

YouTube will announce the nominees on Thursday, October 17 and fans will help determine the winners by “sharing the nominees across social media so the awards are judged in full view of everyone.”

That sounds like Google won’t be calling on you to vote on your favorite artists to pick winners. Instead, the company may be using some algorithmic secret sauce to figure out who the winners are based on what gets shared from the nominees list.

Unlike other awards shows such as the AMAs or the MTV Music Video Awards, the YMAs should have a much broader selection of music. While hits from mainstream artists like Britney Spears and Katy Perry will are sure to be featured, we should also see all kinds of viral hits like “What does the fox say?” and whatever latest video Psy has cranked out.

To make sure you won’t forget about the big night, YouTube says it has a ton of special content releases planned for the week leading up to the big day on November 3. During YMA awards week itself, nominees will be sharing music videos, covers, parodies, concerts, interviews, and fan videos.

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