Yahoo! Music Canada lures traffic with judging power

Are the days of tuning in for live performances and celebrity carpet walks coming to an end in the history of music video awards? Maybe, or maybe not. Yahoo! Music Canada's putting the power in the hands of the people for doling out the honours, though, and putting the red carpet, so to speak, online.

Yahoo! Music Canada is trying to get users engaged in voting for the best of the best in music videos for 2006 with a self-branded campaign dubbed the Online Music Video Awards (OMVAs). Users can vote in 12 different categories ranging from ‘Video Of The Year’ to ‘Best Use Of A Prop In a Video.’ Results of the awards will be tabulated and announced on Yahoo! Music Canada on Jan. 22.

Worldwide PR firm Fleishman-Hillard’s Toronto office is spinning Yahoo! Music’s OMVAs as an alternative to traditional music awards by hyping the power of the user in making editorial input a thing of the past in selecting winners for such ceremonious contests. Nominees making the cut can only do so based on the number of ‘spins’ their video received from the online audiences this year. Yahoo! Music Canada manager Andy West calls the OMVAs an extension of the ‘value of choice’ philosophy offered by the Internet force, or ‘a celebration of music for the people by the people.’

The site boasts a catalogue of 6,500 on-demand music videos and over 1 million unique monthly users (Comscore Media Ratings, November 2006) – streaming about 8 million videos monthly. Currently, the Yahoo! Music Canada website gives prominent placement to Chevrolet’s It’s-Funny-To-Be-So-Obviously-Lame ‘Johnny’ ads. But, when the clocks ticks into 2007, marketers won’t just be watching Yahoo! traffic numbers. January marks the official launch of the brand’s anticipated search marketing platform for advertisers.