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The International Academy for Web Television announced on Tuesday that it would not continue to partner with the Streamy Awards, a for-profit annual event owned by the principals of Tubefilter. The IAWTV will instead create their own non-profit awards ceremony (as the organization is also a non-profit one), but what’s happening with the Streamys? Via email, Tubefilter co-founder Drew Baldwin answered questions about the decision and where the Streamys are heading next.
NewTeeVee: What can you say about the the negotiating process?
Baldwin: As the founders of both the IAWTV and the Streamy Awards, we are proud the Academy has grown so quickly from its initial roots as the Streamys voting body to an independent industry organization with its own mission. And now that it has become its own functioning entity, it’s free to evaluate whatever possible partnerships make sense for itself.
NewTeeVee: What is your perspective on Michael Wayne’s statement that “There was an inherent conflict of interest in supporting the Streamy Awards, which is a for profit awards show, when the proceeds from any activity the IAWTV is involved in should go back to the community”?
Baldwin: From the beginning, everything we’ve done at Tubefilter has always been to promote the online video industry, its content creators, and the community. Through the Streamy Awards we tried to shine a spotlight on this industry and do everything possible to bring it to a higher level and expose it to a wider audience. Like anyone else in this space, we want to create great content, promote great shows, and make a living doing it. No matter what we do, it’s always going to be to benefit this space and the people within it.
NewTeeVee: Was the for-profit/non-profit issue one you foresaw initially?
Baldwin: Sure, but non-profits and for-profit companies work together all the time. Had either side thought that was a major conflict, none of us would have taken a seat at the negotiating table in the first place.
NewTeeVee: Were you surprised by this result?
Baldwin: Not really. We’ve always been aware that the Academy would consider pursuing its own event. We knew it was a possibility, and one that we’ve always sincerely supported. But the membership expressed a clear desire to work with the Streamys, and as founders and members of the Academy we honored that sentiment throughout the negotiation process.
NewTeeVee: What does this mean for next year’s Streamy Awards?
Baldwin: Whenever an opportunity is created to honor the achievements of those who are building an industry around web video, it’s a win for the entire community, regardless of who is running the spotlight. In any business you must safeguard against surprises or disappointments by always leaving the door open to explore other opportunities. There absolutely will be a Streamys 2011, and it’s going to be great.
NewTeeVee: It’s early to discuss this, I know, but are there any plans you have for the 2011 Streamys that you can mention? In what direction do you want to take the show?
Baldwin: Over the past two years, there’s been continual interest in the Streamy Awards from a number of organizations. We can’t mention any specifics just yet, other than there will be a 2011 Streamy Awards and we have great plans for it. You’ll just have to wait and see.
NewTeeVee: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Baldwin: We congratulate the IAWTV on their announcement, and wish them all the best in their new endeavor. Here’s to a bright new year in web television!