In the wake of this year's MTV Video Music Awards
media outlets and webites are buzzing with chatter about the event's exponential viewership and questions about the cable network's contributions in the post-video age.
Today MTV.com reported
Sunday's show experienced the highest ratings in network history with 12.4 million viewers. The website attributed this feat to MTV's stable of Twittering stars as well as fans who gave Beyonce
the most tweets per second. After revealing her baby bump on stage, the former single lady's song "Love on Top
" was catapulted into iTunes' top five.
The numbers are impressive.
But reading MTV's self-aggrandizing account of their viewership I got the distinct feeling the cable juggernaut, which hasn't shown videos for years, has completely morphed into a large publicity firm, less concerned with advancing creativity and obsessed with the bottom line.
Apparently I'm not alone. In an interview with E! News
, Maroon 5 frontman and judge on NBC's The Voice
Adam Levine said "It's public knowledge. It's not a music channel."
Levine was interviewed in response to a tweet he sent before the show in which he wrote "Fuck You VMAs." He added during the interview, "It's become a huge promotional opportunity for artists which is a good thing. I think great artists were there and that they represented and there could have been more."
But the most eloquent, if not grammatically challenged criticism in the blogosphere came courtesy of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon who took to his web page
to vent. After asking rhetorically if getting a moon man means anything anymore he wrote, "I don't mean to criticize. Anyone. Actually. Except for MTV. You might have had a very large opportunity to be stabilize your self as a global presence of culture and art about 15 years ago and you fucked the dog."