YouTube Presents First Awards

Move over Oscar and Grammy, there is a new award that celebrates the Martin Scorseses of cyberspace. Monday morning, YouTube announced the winners of it's first video awards.

Since its founding February 2005, YouTube, which is now a subsidiary of Google, has become a wildly popular phenomenon. Through YouTube, people upload and share videos on the Internet. It has become a forum for opinion, communication and entertainment — a launching pad for new celebrities.

It's also been credited for democratizing media and the entire YouTube community was eligible to vote on which videos from 2006 they liked the best.

The comedy duo Smosh — comprised of Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox — snapped up the best comedy award for their video about a man stranded on the beach for 53 days — but he's actually surrounded by many people.

Singer-songwriter Terra Naomi — a total unknown when she put her first video on YouTube in June — walked away for the award of best music video for her song "Say It's Possible."

"I thought it was good enough, but I didn't really imagine that more than maybe a thousand people would see it," Naomi told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "I think that particular one, about — like maybe 1.4 million. And then combined with the others it's about 5 million now."

She has signed with Island Records and her first album will come out in August. The first single is due in June.

Smosh, based out of Carmichael, Calif., said they used YouTube to create something entirely new. The college students gained nearly 70,000 fans who signed on to watch either their comedy sketches or their music video spoofs.

The band OK Go won for most creative video. They produced an excellently choreographed video using tread mills for their song "Here It Goes Again."

"They did it in one take and returned the tread mills to the store the next day," said Jamie Byrne, head of product marketing for YouTube.

According to YouTube, 13 million people have watched OK Go's video on the site.

"Ask a Ninja" won the award for best series.

"It's a simple concept," Byrne said. "One ninja, one question submitted by a fan and he asks questions about how to best kill someone and stuff like that."

The ninja always signs off with his signature line: "I look forward to killing you soon."

The most adorable video went to "Kiwi," about a flightless bird that spends his entire life looking for a way to fly.

YouTube has proved to be an entree into fame and fortune for some, but it is also about the acknowledgment, Byrne said.

"It's going to be a big trophy and then the recognition," he said. "I think the bragging rights to say they won the first."
  • Caitlin Johnson

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