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MTV Online Music Awards (OMA) | Happy Cog - Web Design

Rock out the vote

MTV Online Music Awards

Rock out the vote MTV Online Music Awards



The O Music Awards is a digital celebration of online music and online music culture. Like the music and technology industries it inhabits, the awards celebration is both timely and ever evolving. Over the past two years, Happy Cog partnered with MTV on two vastly different OMA web experiences. Our multi-year collaboration allowed us to learn from our previous experiences, and build a stronger partnership driving truly spectacular results.

One of MTV’s business requirements in the bi-annual celebration is to increase user participation through category voting. Driving over 42 million user votes in 30 days, our work on OMA 3 increased user voting by 21 million compared to our work on OMA 2, and over a 4200% increase from OMA 1 (prior to Happy Cog’s partnership).

We invite you to experience our work as it developed throughout the stages of the celebration. From category voting, to the Flaming Lips’ record breaking performances viewed through the live show stream, the journey from Memphis to New Orleans was a thrilling technological challenge and a successfully responsive experience.

Stage 1: Open Voting

The site registered a total of over 44 million votes. Leading up to the voting deadline, the volume was over 5,000 votes per minute. MTV wanted to highlight the fans and make them a more central focus of the experience. One way we did this was to push active fans to the winners page, highlighting them in nearly the same prominence as award winners.

The yellow arrow on this page represents the nominees’ vote trending. During the voting period users noticing a downward trending arrow would take to Twitter and organize group voting, driving vote trending upward again.

Stage 2: The Live Show

Things to note during the show: even though the site was cached behind a worldwide cache, we were able to sync up several hundred Instagram photos and over 10,000 tweets in near real time. This included scheduled sponsored tweets and award winner announcement tweets. This stage also featured a multi-camera option allowing users to explore across the event including behind the scenes in the event control booth, upcoming venues, and a live “fan cam.”

Video highlights were critical in OMA3. With a 24 hour celebration, users couldn’t watch the whole thing. Highlights were used to catch someone up, or allow them to decide what portions of the show they wanted to experience. Each highlight is tagged in a variety of ways enabling Facebook and Twitter sharing. For example, on Facebook users can actually play videos inline within their news feed, without jumping back to the site.

Stage 3: Post Event

At the close of the event, while the Flaming Lips crashed to grab some sleep, Happy Cog switched the site to the post event state. This version of the site moved the focus back to the OMA blog, and to the content they produce throughout the year.

None of this would have been possible without our partners at Viacom/MTV and a truly collaborative approach. We can’t wait to get started on OMA 4, employing what we learned over the past two events to make the O Music Awards even bigger and better in 2013.

More on our process: It’s Tech, Under Pressure


Key insights:

  • OMA 3 drove 42 million user votes in 30 days, compared to just 10 million for OMA 2
  • 4200% increase in votes over OMA 1

OMA 3: Nominees

OMA 3: Winners

OMA 2: Home page shows live voting results

OMA 2: Blog articles generate interest before and after the big event.

More work