Taylor Swift performs a medley at the MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center on Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in Newark, N.J. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

TV viewership down, social media up for VMSs

August 27, 2019 - 4:35 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — If Taylor Swift, Missy Elliott and a 1990s rap reunion couldn't halt the shrinkage of MTV's television audience for its Video Music Awards, perhaps nothing can.

Monday's show was seen by 4.9 million viewers across 12 different Viacom-owned networks. The Nielsen company says that's down from last year's audience of 5.2 million. The annual event has been slipping steadily in television viewers since reaching 10.3 million people in 2014.

But MTV says more people are following the show through social media, and is encouraged by the growth in those numbers.

For example, MTV aggressively pushes out clips of the show on social media platforms, and said those views were up 85 percent over last year.