YouTube's head of music, EMEA Dan Chalmers has stressed the crucial role The BRITs plays in giving domestic acts an international platform ahead of this year's show.
Already this week, we've brought you an exclusive digital cover story with BRITs showrunner Damian Christian, committee member Mel Rudder and trophy designer Slawn. Now, it's the turn of Chalmers to discuss the business of The BRITs from YouTube's perspective.
In the 10th year of their partnership with the event, Music Week sits down with Chalmers to get his take on why the ceremony still matters and the part YouTube plays in safeguarding the industry's best talents...
Why is it important to partner with the BRITs and what does YouTube bring to the table for the event?
“The BRIT Awards are the biggest celebration of British music in the calendar and YouTube helps bring this critical moment to our billions of users. The BRITs partnership aligns perfectly with our focus on developing British talent. We've worked with 100% of the artists that are nominated in some capacity, whether that’s through programme packages or marketing support. Fans want to engage online in many different ways, which is why multi-format storytelling on YouTube works so well for the BRITs. On Shorts, creators like Amelia Dimoldenberg, Chewkz and UnknownVlogs will be sharing a unique first-hand experience of the BRITs with fans via #BRITsUnseen. We’ll be livestreaming the ceremony across the world for those outside the UK and we’ve also worked with Sam Smith, Wet Leg and FLO, who will be taking fans inside their worlds in the lead-up.”
We've worked with 100% of the artists that are nominated in some capacity
Sam Smith and Wet Leg are among the acts who've embraced YouTube offerings such as Shorts this year. What can you do to boost artists that your competitors can't?
“It’s been amazing to see an artist like Sam lean into Shorts to enhance their artistic vision and find new audiences. YouTube makes it easy for fans to discover, participate in and consume all music formats in one place. For example, fans that discover their new favourite song via short-form video can go on to access the full track and explore the artist’s full catalogue easily. We’re also continuing to partner with the music industry to make YouTube the best place for artists to promote and release their music and express themselves using whatever format works best for them and their music, be it music videos, livestreams, Shorts and more.”
Does the BRITs being on a Saturday night for the first time impact how YouTube's coverage will work? Does it make the platform bigger for you too, as well as the TV companies?
“A Saturday night is a great moment to enjoy entertainment, and what better entertainment is there than the BRITs? One of the biggest areas of growth for YouTube right now is in the living room via people’s TVs. Being able to bring the BRITs to people’s living rooms outside the UK on a Saturday night is an incredible opportunity and we’re really excited to be able to do it for a 10th consecutive year.”
It’s been amazing to see Sam Smith lean into YouTube Shorts to enhance their artistic vision
Dan Chalmers, YouTube
Who are you most excited by among the nominees and why?
“Harry Styles, I think he's an incredible performer with a brilliant album. Cat Burns is a unique talent with an exciting artist development story. Central Cee is phenomenal, the best British rapper of a generation. It’s amazing to see him do incredibly well both in the UK and around the world. I saw Wet Leg perform at Glastonbury at the Park Stage last year, which was amazing. There is so much talent in the UK right now, it’s inspiring to see.”
In your opinion, what do artists stand to gain from being part of the BRITs, whether as a winner, nominee or performer?
“The BRITs is a hugely prestigious event and the focal point of British music around the world annually. I think the YouTube partnership is incredibly exciting for all of the artists as they'll be broadcast to our billions of users worldwide. It’s a massive moment for music discovery.”
Why do the BRITs matter to the industry in 2023?
“If you look at the BPI stats from 2022, the Top 10 UK singles of the year were all by British artists, so there is a clear appetite for British music globally. Both YouTube and the BRITs are proud champions of British music. We want to take more British acts global, and the BRITs are an important part of that mission.”
PHOTO: Andrea Pearson