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VMAs Set Twitter Record Despite Ratings Decline

Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards was a big hit in social media, but not so much on traditional TV.

The Miley Cyrus-hosted live event generated 5 million viewers for MTV, down from the 8.2 million viewers the show generated in 2014, according to Nielsen.

The show, which featured performances from Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Justin Beiber and Demi Lovato, was also down in key demos, including 18-49 (3.2 million in 2015 vs. 5.2 million in 2014) and 18-34 (2.2 million vs. 3.7 million), according to Nielsen.

The 10-network simulcast of the live event drew a combined 9.8 million viewers, compared to 10.3 million viewers across four networks in 2014, according to Nielsen.

But those who watched the show were very chatty on social media. The show, which also included Kanye West’s announcement that he will run for president in 2020, drew more than 21.3 million Tweets reached 11.8 million unique Twitter users, the most non-sports program since Nielsen began tracking Twitter TV activity in October 2011.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.