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VMAS: A REBUTTAL
FROM BRUCE

Following our coverage of MTV’s VMAs, Viacom’s Head of Music and Talent for its Global Entertainment Group, Bruce Gillmer, has written in to offer a different take.

“We are pushing a huge boulder uphill and making slow but steady progress,” Bruce says. “The VMAs lost 50% of its linear TV audience between 2014 and this year, mostly between 2014-16. We’ve stopped the bleeding. We’ve also made huge gains—and completely dominate—the digital/social side, where our core lives. The show earned 200m streams! A better TRL and overall music plan will help going forward; the show is still a bit out of left field, given U.S. MTV’s lack of music support over the last several years. We finally have support from the top of the organization to build this.”

Bruce also takes issue with our assertion that Ariana Grande was the only act to see a meaningful uptick in the marketplace, pointing to gains by Nicki Minaj and Post Malone as well as some newer artists that “saw a respectable lift.”

“I totally understand your perspective on the brand and its lackluster music presence,” he adds, “but we are working really hard to turn things around. The damage was worse than you can imagine, but we have the support and tools we need—finally.”

Bruce, who’s currently at work producing the EMAs, then excused himself to go jam with Aerosmith.

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