The awards show ― which has aired on various networks over the years, including Fox, ABC and NBC ― eschewed a traditional broadcast or livestream on Sunday, instead sharing clips of performances and artists’ wins via Billboard’s website and social media channels.
The BBMAs billed the ceremony as a “reimagined award show concept” to “entertain fans with music and exclusive content,” according to a press release.
Rather than taking place in a single venue, performances and acceptance speeches occurred in a variety of “global locations, in the midst of sold-out tours, and in custom venues,” organizers said.
Critics on X, formerly Twitter, weren’t happy with the changes, pointing to the lack of a livestream as well as technical difficulties with the videos on Billboard’s website.
Please never do awards like this again if there's nowhere to watch
— 𝘙𝘢𝘨𝘥𝘰𝘭𝘭 (樂) (@ragdolluwu) November 20, 2023
— Blake DSM (@blake_dsm) November 20, 2023
GIRL WE CANT WATCH
— 𝓈𝒶𝓂 (@petrasmatique) November 20, 2023
CAN YOU GUYS FIX THE FREAKING LINK?? everyone is replying saying we can’t watch because the link is broken and you guys are just ignoring and tweeting show updates as if anyone can actually see what’s going on.
— -ˏˋ amity ⁷₄ ˊˎ- (@needyynasa) November 20, 2023
we wanted a livestream not whatever this is
— ryder 💙💭 (@youhadmeforamin) November 20, 2023
bbmas please dear god have a live show next year this is so awful
— elaina (@neomufelix) November 20, 2023
A spokesperson for Dick Clark Productions, the producer behind the ceremony, referred HuffPost to a Billboard.com Q&A when asked how organizers decided on the format.
“When conceptualizing a newly reimagined BBMAs, it was important for us to put the artists and fans first, leaning into the existing viewing habits of today’s audience to create an awards show that speaks to a new generation,” said Maddy Mesevage, Dick Clark Productions’ senior vice president of marketing.
“Similar to how music consumption has shifted, with 85% of music consumed digitally, how fans engage with their favorite artists and view content has also shifted,” Mesevage said. “So this year, the BBMAs is meeting fans everywhere they are, and everywhere they already consume music and content.”
You can check out more from the Q&A here.
A source close to the show noted that a “brief glitch” occurred on Billboard’s website “due to overwhelming demand.”
The site, which hosts videos from the ceremony, was unable to load clips for some Google Chrome users as of late Sunday night.