Skip to main content

The Weeknd, Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande Lead Sales Gains Post-VMAs

"Blinding Lights" and "Rain on Me" each surged by more than 95%.

Songs performed during the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30 saw sales leaps surrounding the broadcast, as did songs that won awards during the ceremony.

Pacing the group, The Weeknd‘s “Blinding Lights,” which he performed against a striking rooftop background and which won for video of the year and best R&B, sold 5,000 downloads on Aug. 30-31 (the days of and after the VMAs), a blast of 95% from its total on Aug. 28-29, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande‘s “Rain on Me” followed with 3,000 sold on Aug. 30-31, roaring 139% from Aug. 28-29. “Rain on Me” was another winner during the ceremony, scoring nods for song of the year, best collaboration and best cinematography.


Machine Gun Kelly‘s “Bloody Valentine,” performed during the pre-telecast and which won for best alternative, sold 1,000 Aug. 30-31, up 93% from the previous two days.

All songs that won at least one Moon Person during the VMAs sold a combined 13,000 downloads Aug. 30-31, a boost of 65% from 8,000 Aug. 28-29.

In all, sales of songs performed on the Aug. 30 broadcast totaled 36,000 on Aug. 30-31, actually down from 52,000 on Aug. 28-29. Contributing to the decline, however, two new remixes (“Tropical” and “Poolside” versions) of BTS‘ “Dynamite,” new atop the Sept. 5-dated Billboard Hot 100, arrived Aug. 28, as did CNCO‘s new single “Beso.”

Subtracting the splashy first two days of availability for those two “Dynamite” remixes and “Beso,” all other songs performed on the VMAs, which were previously available (making for somewhat of a fairer comparison), sold 20,000 downloads on Aug. 30-31, up 90% from 11,000 on Aug. 28-29.

Sept. 2 Update: With initial on-demand streaming data reported in to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, the collected songs performed on the show posted an 8% decline in streams on Aug. 30-31 (27.73 million) as compared to Aug. 28-29 (30.15 million). The songs that won at least one Moon Person saw an overall 6% dip in streams. However, there was a notable highlight among the performances on the show, as Lady Gaga’s multi-song set landed a 10% increase in streams to 2.54 million (up from 2.31 million).