MTV has formed a major partnership with Snap, allowing viewers of this year’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) to vote using Snap Lens. The deal will mark the first-ever collaboration between the two companies and the first award show featuring Snap’s Camera Kit augmented reality (AR) technologies.

Leveraging the camera company’s Camera Kit, MTV will continue the trend of adopting metaverse technologies to boost engagement with audiences.

For the VMAs, users can vote in the Best New Artist category using Snap’s new Lens. Saucealitos developed the immersive experience as a further conduit for fans to participate in the voting process, along with traditional means. The Lenses will launch at 11:00 Eastern Time on Tuesday ahead of the VMA broadcast.

Fans can also submit selfies with a Snap AR-powered Moonperson, the iconic MTV mascot, and overlay it in their homes while floating in the selfie background.

The music and entertainment channel noted that last year’s VMA show boasted over 40 million engagements across its social media channels — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube — and added Snapchat’s 13 to 24-year-old audience were ideal targets.

Numerous people and organisations like hip hop artist Drake, the Los Angeles Rams US football team, Live Nation, and others have leveraged Snap’s platform to boost user engagement.

MTV: Metaverse Television?

In August last year, MTV debuted its first-ever VMAs with a Best Metaverse Performance category, ringing in a new age of immersive entertainment. The new programme saw viewership spike 3 percent, or 3.9 million viewers, compared to 3.7 the year before.

The awards ceremony nominated major artists such as Ariana Grand, BLACKPINK, Justin Bieber, and others, with Korean pop band BLACKPINK taking home the award.

Snoop Dogg and Eminem leveraged Otherside’s metaverse platform to perform a groundbreaking performance for the ceremony. In it, Otherside partnered with Yuga Labs, the creators of the Bored Ape Yacht Club, to feature the superstar artists as BAYC avatars in real-time.

Snap and MTV: Hello from the Otherside

Otherside’s “gamified, interoperable metaverse” facilitates massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) physics and virtual assets. This also includes non-fungible token (NFT) prizes, marketplaces, and other monetisation initiatives.

At the time, an MTV spokesperson said: “[We] saw the opportunity to highlight and honor some of the best, most impactful executions of this — and celebrate artists who have found creative ways to use these spaces — which led to the addition of ‘Best Metaverse Performance’ category this year.”

Previously, the VMAs collaborated with Roblox for viewer voting, competitions, and non-fungible token (NFT) prizes. Many artists from last year’s celebration hosted their music videos on Roblox’s Minecraft, Epic Games’ Fortnite, Wave, PUBG: Mobile, the Sandbox, and many others.

Artists like MUSE, Grimes, David Guetta, Travis Scott, 22Gz, and VNCCII have explored the Metaverse as a medium for their artwork, leading to greater storytelling, interactivity, and expanded community engagement.

ARES, Snap, and the Enterprise

The MTV announcement comes after Snap unveiled its AR strategy to increase immersive tech adoption rates for global enterprises with a new software developer kit (SDK).

Its AR Enterprise Services (ARES) platform aims to empower retailers and their websites with impressive AR toolkits to boost brand loyalty, sales, and return on investment (ROI).

Offering real-time 3D (RT3D) content, virtual try-ons (VTOs), digital wearables, and product recommendations powered by artificial intelligence, the ARES Shopping Suite SDK will back businesses worldwide. It does so by integrating its 3D Viewer, Fit Finder, AR Try-On, Enterprise Manager, and Hands-on Integration Services.

With the new tools, businesses have seen meteoric rises in engagement rates, leading to increased sales and a creative community rallying around company brand names.

Rival companies like Roblox, Meta Platforms, and others have opened AR advertising platforms to boost engagement and build global ecosystems for enterprises.

Meta is leveraging its Instagram and Facebook Reels platform to distribute augmented reality adverts to brands and their viewership. This offers the Menlo Park-based firm and its clients massive new revenue streams and corporate outreach to customers.

By digitally transforming advert strategies for businesses, companies can ensure that Gen Z consumers and users will adopt immersive approaches to marketing and advertising over the next few years, ultimately reshaping how they connect with their audiences.