VMAs 2022 ratings up with lift from Nicki Minaj, Johnny Depp, Lizzo, more

VMAs 2022 ratings up with lift from Nicki Minaj, Johnny Depp, Lizzo, more

“Ratings, what’s good?”

The preliminary Nielsen figures for the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, its pre-show and two on-air replays are in — and both TV and cross-platform consumption ratings are up.

According to the numbers, 3.9 million viewers tuned in to watch Sunday’s festivities across 12 Paramount Global cable channels and the broadcast network The CW — which is a 3% increase from 2021’s programming, which attracted 3.7 million viewers.

Paramount says viewers watched 1.59 billion minutes of VMAs content across TV, streaming and social platforms. That’s a 14% increase from last year’s consumption and the second consecutive year that the stat has gone up.

It may come as no surprise — with scandals and drama surrounding the likes of Yung Gravy and Addison Rae, Moon Person Johnny Depp, Artist of the Year Bad Bunny, and butt- and boob-baring Måneskin — that online chatter around the award show is up, too, as this year saw a whopping 79% jump in viewing on social media.

Johnny Depp made a surprise digital appearance as the Moon Person at the VMAs.

According to analytics firm Talkwalker, the VMAs garnered 40 million social interactions — up from 38 million last year — outperforming the Super Bowl for two years in a row, as well as the March 27 Oscars featuring the infamous Will Smith/Chris Rock slap incident.

The action-packed VMAs hooked viewers at the start when Jack Harlow brought out Fergie for a “Glamorous” performance. Lizzo immediately took the stage once the duo wrapped up, synching her dance moves with the large video screen behind her.

A rumored — and quickly confirmed — virtual cameo from Johnny Depp quickly followed, as did the anticipation of Nicki Minaj’s 10-minute career-spanning performance before accepting the Video Vanguard Award.

To solidify viewership, Taylor Swift — dripping in diamonds — surprisingly arrived on the event’s black carpet. Fans thought her wardrobe was a nod to her “Reputation” album era — which recently became eligible for Swift to re-release — but ended up sending fans into a tizzy by announcing a totally new album instead.

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