YouTube and the lonelygirl15 Internet video series took home prizes last week in TelevisionWeek’s first annual Viral Video Awards, which recognize contribution to the development of the new-media phenomenon.
The lonelygirl15 series won in the category of best professional viral video. “Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment” was honored as best homegrown viral video.
YouTube’s award was in the category of most influential viral video site aligned with a major media company. Revver.com was named best independent viral video site.
The event, held in conjunction with the National Television Academy’s Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards nominations and awards, was designed to honor the most influential players in the viral video arena, which has exploded in popularity in the last year. Video-sharing Web sites are trying to develop business models that attract advertising as media companies explore the industry for partnerships and acquisitions.
The TVWeek event kicked off with a question-and-answer session with Break.com CEO Keith Richman, who said the lines between user-generated material and professional content are blurring rapidly.
That process is accelerating as more Hollywood professionals create video content for the Web, both on the job and on their own time, Mr. Richman said.
The television academy’s unveiling of nominations and winners of technology and engineering Emmys started off the Thursday event, and NTA President Peter Price noted that the emergence of new media has added new importance to those awards.
Delivery of shows over the Internet and portable devices is essential to meeting viewers’ expectations that TV can be consumed anywhere at any time, Mr. Price said in a statement.
The NTA also recognized former DirecTV executive Eddy Hartenstein with a lifetime achievement award, noting his contribution to the development of satellite TV.
The winners and nominees of the 58th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy awards are available at Emmyonline.org.