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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

StreamyGate

Wednesday evening, the producers of the Streamy awards announced a For Your Consideration program, which for a fee, would allow Streamy nominated webseries to send either a DVD or USB memory stick to some or all of the IAWTV members. The cost is $6 dollars per item, so sending one to each member costs $1400 dollars ($6 x 220 members). Several members of the web TV community met this announcement with a fair amount of skepticism.

The first question that immediately jumps to mind is why send out DVD’s for an award show that celebrates online video? After all, one would assume that the nominated series would wish to capitalize on its new found fame stemming from a Streamy nomination, so it seems reasonable that a nominated series would still be viewable online. Secondly, after announcing the For Your Consideration program, the official Streamy blog announced that it had partnered with popscreen to embed the nominated series directly into the Streamy ballot. This seems like a much better and simpler idea. If a voter is undecided as to which series to vote for an example of the work is just a click away; in contrast, to keeping track of numerous DVD screeners, which, undoubtedly, will all arrive on the same day.

The second major concern seems to be that this once again pits the smaller independent producers against those with deeper pockets. After all, $1400 dollars, in some cases, exceeds the budgets of many webseries. This year, even more so than last year, has seen a rise in the conflict between the independent creators and the studio-backed producers. Many of the smaller independent creators, perhaps thinking that this was finally their year to shine, have felt that they have been overlooked in favor of courting favor with name stars and big budget productions. The FYC program serves as an easy target for this animosity.

In an impromptu chat this evening, Brady Brim-DeForest defended the program as a necessary source of revenue to sponsor the Streamy awards. Since then there has been a flurry of discussion in various chatrooms and on twitter as to the merits of the program. Stay tuned to this blog for further developments as they occur.

StreamyGate

Update: Looks like the program has entered the 436.

17 comments:

  1. so for 1400 bucks the tubefilter guy licks a stamp... seems reasonable.

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  2. I'm profoundly sad the academy choose to act before reaching out to the community to talk about other possible solutions.

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  3. do they include postage or is that extra?

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  4. Perhaps while this controversy is being discussed someone can bring up the question of performer eligibility. Specifically how a performance from 2008 can be eligible for the 2009 Streamy awards...

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  5. I guess if a show is geoblocked then you might need something physical, but if they had not allowed geoblocked shows in the first place that would not have been an issue. This is supposed to be about ONLINE video which if it is on the World Wide Web should be available globally.

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  6. Incidentally, I think we all know there are a number of web sites that allow you to privately upload content and make it available for download without this kinda of absurd expense.

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  7. Oh, and the comment about WebTV getting less awesome? This was posted by a guy who is supposed to be supporting online productions?

    Dude, learn how to internet.

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  8. I don't understand how a company that talks about web series thinks it will make money when web series don't make money.

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  9. I missed a lot last night apparently. Bernie Su actually filled me in a bit. My question, from an Academy Member's position is...what if I don't need the screeners? I've actually seen pretty much all the shows and/or know where to get them. A little bit of money could be saved on me by not having to waste the postage.

    So my point is: is there an opt-out for Academy Members in this program?

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  10. I read this last night and thought I would sleep on it because, you know, I might have missed something.

    I'm still waiting for an official announcement about this with some explanation about the reasoning behind it. On the information given here it's a bit hard to understand why this is seen as a good idea.

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  11. They have rolled back the program and are considering other options: http://bit.ly/cw49GC

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  12. I believe the community would like an open discussion regarding many aspects of how the Streamys are being run and operated. Now the IAWTV is a closed corporation, but even as such it is answerable to stakeholders.

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  13. In the end it comes down to whether the Academy decisions are going to be made in smoke filled back rooms or whether the body as a hole is going to embrace the spirit of openness and collaboration that the World Wide Web avails us of.

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  14. Is there a Streamy for best writing about web shows? This sight has written some amazing stuff this year and done a good job of covering everything.

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  15. Oh, I like anon's idea. Hey, they give out awards for everything else, why not blogging?

    And yes, I occasionally re-read my old stuff even long after it is written.

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