Anyone who's ever watched Psy's "Gangnam Style" (or a funny cat video) is part of a worldwide phenomenon: the explosive growth of original online video programming.
And with awards season in Hollywood in full swing, a new name is added to the annual list which includes the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammys.
The Streamy Awards are at the intersection of Hollywood and new media, created to honor excellence in original online video programming and those who create it; bringing together the leading creative talent from the online entertainment industry.
In a world where anyone with a cellphone can not only watch a video but be a video producer or star; where 800 billion unique users visit YouTube every month, Hollywood has begun to recognize and embrace the seismic shifts in the way people consume entertainment.
On the list of nominations just announced, you won't see perennial Oscar favorite Meryl Streep. But you will find recognizable names like Tom Hanks, Kristen Bell, Larry King, even the Huffington Post -- all pioneers in the online space. They are nominated for Streamys along with video creators and YouTube personalities such as the hugely successful and popular Philip de Franco.Says Drew Baldwin, co-founder and executive producer of the Streamys:
We're thrilled to have such a strong class of Streamy Awards Nominees.This year we have seen explosive growth in online video as mainstream audiences are embracing this revolutionary new medium. With major investments in original programming and new advances in technology, creators -- both indie and studio alike -- have been producing extraordinary work.
The nominees demonstrate how talent from both traditional media and new media are coming together in the online video space, with programs from established studios, new emerging multi-channel networks and independent producers.
The success of the Streamys itself reflects and parallels the dynamic and dramatic growth in the field. Created just three years ago by Tubefilter founders Baldwin and Joshua Cohen, the Streamys are now a joint venture with Dick Clark Productions, and sponsored by Coca Cola.
The Streamy Awards will be presented at the Hollywood Palladium on February 17, 2013, streamed live (of course); still easier than getting tickets to the Oscars.
Appropriately, the Streamys announced nominations via video -- watching is also a fast and fun way to get a glimpse of the scope and stars of online video.