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MTV Is Planning a New Awards Show for Digital Music [Updated]

It'll be called the OMAs; it'll go down April 28; and it doesn't sound terribly well thought out. The "O" in OMAs doesn't stand for anything because MTV wanted to leave it open for interpretation? And in general, it's just not well-defined: The network says the awards will "honor the migration of music to the digital space, and celebrate the art, artistry and technology of digital music"; categories will include Best App and Best Kanye West Tweet; and "social media buzz" will be taken into consideration. Okay, what? Update: OMAs mastermind Dermot McCormack answers our questions. [Billboard]

After we originally published this post, Dermot McCormack, head of MTV Music Group Digital, was nice enough to answer some questions about the show.

How is the audience going to decide what the 'O' will stand for?

We purposely left the name open for personal interpretation. There’s no contest or poll for folks to vote on what the ‘O’ will stand for. Simply put, the ‘O’ can stand for whatever you, the music fan, want it be. It can run the gamut from Online to OMG to Outrageous. We’re looking to pioneer something special here and want the contrarian vibe of the show to be reflected in everything, including the event’s name.


Where will the award show be broadcast?
Considering its digital focus, the OMAs will debut first and then live across MTV Music Group’s multiple digital platforms and screens, including MTV.com, VH1.com, CMT.com, and LOGOTV.com, and will also include mobile and social media extensions. We’re currently locking down the television component, and will have more info to share soon.

Will there be a host?
Not a host in the traditional sense, but certainly a master or masters of ceremonies to drive the experience. We’re currently developing a short list of possibilities that includes artists, comedians, animated characters, and web celebrities. In terms of the actual show, the OMAs will feature never-before-seen music collaborations and performances, and music moments honoring artists, fans, and innovators driving - and changing - digital music.

What other categories will there be?

With all the recent music innovation in the digital space, we have endless possibilities for categories. We’re considering a variety of awards like most memorable artist Twitter feud, best mash up and best fansite. In the coming weeks, we’ll reveal the categories, nominees and the voting process that will be driven by social media.

How do you define the difference between 'music' and 'digital music'?

Similar how music videos changed the face of music in the early 80’s, we see the explosion of “digital music” as a fundamental shift in how fans discover, consume, interact and share music. Digital music casts a really wide net; it embodies everything from companies like Pandora and Spotify, to web celebrities like Keenan Cahill to artists like Justin Bieber and Kanye West utilizing social media to interact with their fans. Music is the fastest growing category in the digital space and currently lacks an event that truly celebrates and rewards the innovation that is happening every day in this arena. MTV has a long history of re-defining award shows, pushing boundaries to spur conversations that change the trajectory of the medium. We think we’re the right folks to lead this celebratory charge.

Is the idea that the OMAs award the way music is distributed digitally? And not the music itself?
The OMAs will celebrate the myriad of innovative and creative ways that the worlds of music and digital have joined forces to break new ground like never before. Award winners will include artists, innovative companies, fans and web celebrities.

[Billboard]