The music industry has changed. If you ask Chance The Rapper, it's completely dead, and he doesn't want any part of it.
Fair enough, but music itself is far from dying; in fact, it may never have been more alive. The internet era is completely changing the way artists in all walks of media are making money, selling albums and touring, but the key element is a large following on the internet.
That's where YouTube comes into play. Artists can directly cash in on videos thanks to YouTube ads, plus have a chance to go viral, which can't be said for radio. "Gangnam Style" is probably the best example for that potential, but it's also allowed artists like Chance or anyone from Odd Future to gain a serious and dedicated fanbase. There isn't much need for record labels or award shows to make a name for yourself.
WIth that said, the YouTube Video Music Award show has a chance to be a major success as well. Using internet metrics, which does not simply mean views, YouTube has their own formula for nominations and winners that doesn't depend on an incestuous radio industry that ensures Katy Perry gets more spins than Pusha T.
Now, for the first time in awhile, the music selected will truly represent the fans' choice as opposed to the industry favorites.
But don't get it twisted, this isn't some underground parade. YouTube already signed Eminem and Lady Gaga up to perform, and there could be more coming.
The game's changing people. Adapt or get left behind.