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Social Media Trends At This Year’s VMA and Emmy Awards

This weekend played host to the MTV Video Music Awards and the Emmys; it’s a bit of an unconventional schedule as these two events are usually at least a month apart. So with this Hollywood hubbub happening so close together I knew we’d be in for oodles of fresh water cooler fodder – What would the new VMA scandal be? Would the new Emmy host go too far? Would the people who won actually deserve it? Ultimately, which award show would come out the top topic?

So here’s how it all went down:

Emmys 1

Clearly the VMAs had a lot of buzz, but they were also on a weekend as opposed to the Emmy’s that had a case of the Mondays – in terms of their time slot. Conversation was largely driven performances by Beyonce, Iggy Azalea, and the shooting of Suge Knight at a pre-VMAs party.

While the VMAs drew more mentions, they actually had less discussion this year than last year, but just barely with a 1% decrease. Over 99% of the mentions of the VMAs were on Twitter, and of the Tweets almost 67% were retweets. This was driven largely driven by interactive voting categories and promotions from the artists featured on the show.

On the other hand, the Emmy’s saw a decrease by just over 13% year over year. The Emmy’s saw about 97% of their content from Twitter, which is up from last year. About 49% of their Tweets were retweets, which could be indicative of a less engaged audience, or perhaps and audience that wasn’t prompted to engage through voting and interactive mechanisms.

In terms of sentiment, things were more even. The Emmy’s may have had less mentions but the percentage of positive conversation was higher.

Emmys 4


Year over year, the sentiment around the VMAs improved. While last years “Miley-gate” spiked significant negative mentions, interactive features like voting for fan favorite lyric video helped drive positive sentiment especially from fan bases from artists that cater to a younger crowd like Demi Lovato, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Katy Perry’s KatyCats.

The Emmy’s saw a similar increase in sentiment largely driven by discussion around the Red Carpet and new host Seth Meyers.

Interestingly, the Emmy’s and VMAs were much more even among viewers who expressed intent to watch the shows. In fact, viewers who expressed a planned intent to view the awards also expressed more positive sentiment, and when it came to the Emmy’s they expressed a whole lot of positive sentiment.

Emmys 7


It’s worth noting that while the VMAs dominated the Emmy’s in terms of volume, when we evaluate these award shows in the context of viewers intending to watch they’re almost neck and neck. That’s a big reduction for the VMAs. Less premeditated watching could mean that people are discussing the VMAs without actually watching them, that could affect viewer ratings, sponsors, and a whole host of things that help pay for these shindigs. On the other hand, while the Emmy’s have more people intending to watch the awards they aren’t seeing the interaction and buzz that pays off from such intended viewership. They might see more mentions if they can incorporate more interactive elements and attract fan bases that already follow nominated shows and their cast.

So here’s to next year! I’m hoping for a live tweet trivia game. #crossesfingers

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