How the iHeartRadio Awards became our biggest hit with fan armies

The Tylt
Mar 23, 2017 · 3 min read

BY DERON DALTON

The opening graphic for “iHeartRadio Awards Female Artist of the Year” bracket.

The Golden Globes, Grammys and the Academy Awards are all major award shows that are responsible for how the Tylt built its awards coverage. The success of these series made it apparent that popular award shows (maybe not all, but most) deserve coverage. The iHeartRadio Awards aren’t actually as big or established as any of the other award shows during this season. But the iHeartRadio Awards has something over the rest—heavily mobilized fan armies that are allowed to vote and want to see their favorite stars win.

The 4th Annual took place on March 5 — celebrating the best music artists popularly heard across iHeartRadio stations from early 2016 to early 2017. Again—fan armies of mega pop stars were already mobilized in voting for their favorites in fan-based social voting categories. We definitely benefited from this. Yet—we focused on non-social voting categories to not only give fan army voices a higher elevation, but to actually further mobilize conversations about which stars should win in the TOP categories.

The Tylt engaged music fans by having them predict the winners in the major “Artist of the Year” categories with a series of iHeart mini brackets — including “Female Artist of the Year,” “Male Artist of the Year” and “Best Duo/Group of the Year.” These actual categories were voted on by the iHeart Awards committee. Though, our brackets gave fan armies an opportunity to predict the winners themselves separately from social categories they were allowed to vote in. Fan armies—like Sia’s Lovers, the Rihanna Navy, Adele’s Daydreamers, the BeyHive, the Mendes Army, Beliebers and the Weeknd’s XO Crew, and more all laid out the cases for why their favorite pop stars should win in these top categories.

Unfortunately, in the chosen five-nominee categories, we had to leave off a nominee in each of these mini-bracket series. We made hard (and stressful) decisions in not including Selena Gomez, Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line in our brackets. Although very tough and calculated calls, we figured the four out of the five nominees that were chosen for each bracket had the greatest shots of winning in their respective categories. Like in previous award series and brackets, these factors made it easy for the entertainment editor to appropriately face off comparable pop stars for each debate.

First Round Female Artist of the Year Bracket:

— Results: #TeamAdele progressed to the final round over #TeamAriana.

— Results: #TeamSia beat #TeamRihanna and made it to the final round.

First Round Male Artist of the Year Bracket:

— Results: #TeamWeeknd won over #TeamDrake in the first round.

— Results: #TeamMendes won over #TeamBieber and went on to the final round.

First Round Best Duo/Group of the Year Bracket:

— Results: #TeamTwentyOnePilots progressed to the final round over #TeamColdplay.

— Results: #TeamDNCE managed to beat #TeamChainsmokers in the first round.

Final Rounds for Artist of the Year Brackets:

— Results: It was a tight race, but #TeamAdele won our poll over#TeamSia by 51 percent, and the award.

— Results: Shawn Mendes won the bracket. Justin Bieber lost in the first round, but he won the actual award.

— Results: Twenty One Pilots won the final round and the award, thanks to the Skelton Crew.

The Tylt

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The Tylt

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The Tylt

The Tylt

Make your opinion heard and have your vote count. See how your opinions on social media influence the story in real-time.