The International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV) will hold its first IAWTV Awards show to honor the best online web series in conjunction with the 2012 CES in Las Vegas, IAWTV announced Thursday. In part, the new awards show is IAWTV’s attempt to leave some of the controversy surrounding the Streamy Awards behind, but it could also represent a chance for web video makers to establish new ties with CE makers in need for content for connected devices.
The inaugural IAWTV Awards will be held on Jan. 12 at the Venetian in Las Vegas. It’s organized in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which will be holding its CES show in town at the same time. The awards will be part of the CES Entertainment Matters program, which is supposed to attract Hollywood executives and other content professionals to the electronics show.
“CES is a great partner,” said IAWTV Awards Committee Chair Amber J. Lawson when reached by phone, explaining that the new venue will provide the organization with an opportunity to reach a much broader audience. “I consider now a renaissance of content,” she said, adding that content makers have been empowered through more affordable gear produced by CE manufacturers. The next step would be to reach new audiences through devices. “It’s an exciting time,” she said.
The IAWTV was previously involved in the organization of the Streamy Awards, a very similar show that also focused on web series talent. However, the 2010 Streamys were a bit of a disaster, and eventually led to a fallout between the organization and online video magazine Tubefilter, which held the rights to, and organized, the show. IAWTV has since severed ties with Tubefilter with a new board of directors, and the organization eventually announced in November that it was going to launch its own awards show. However, Lawson said that the split was under amicable terms.
IAWTV also announced the categories of the new awards on Thursday, which bear many similarities to the Streamys. There is a bigger emphasis on live programming, and the awards will — for the first time — not only honor creators, but also the best distribution platform with an award that is supposed to recognize “outstanding achievement in technology by an online distribution channel in an effort to provide a pleasant viewer interface and experience, as well as a practical, easy to use creator interface.”