YouTube Awards
The words "YouTube VIDEO AWARDS" written against a red background. "YouTube" is written vertically against the left-hand side of the image. "You" is written in a white font"; "Tube" is written in a red font within a white, rounded rectangle. "VIDEO AWARDS" is written in a yellow-white font. The middle of the D in "VIDEO" is a right-pointing triangle, like a "Play" logo.
Awarded forBest YouTube videos
CountryUnited States
Presented byYouTube
First awardedMarch 25, 2007 (2007-03-25)
Last awardedMarch 21, 2008 (2008-03-21)
Most nominationsWilliam Sledd (2)

The YouTube Awards (also known as the YouTube Video Awards) was a promotion run by the video-sharing website YouTube to recognize the best user-generated videos of the year. The awards were presented twice, in 2007 and 2008, with winners being voted for by the site's users from shortlists compiled by YouTube staff. YouTube was launched on February 14, 2005, and quickly began to grow – by July 2006, traffic to the site had increased by 297 percent. As a result of this success, YouTube launched their own awards promotion in March 2007 to honor some of the site's best videos. Seven shortlists were compiled, with ten videos per shortlist. Users were invited to vote for the winners over a five-day period at a dedicated web page. Singer Damian Kulash, whose band OK Go won in the Most Creative category for their music video Here It Goes Again, said that receiving a YouTube Award was a surreal honor and that the site was changing culture "quickly and completely".

The YouTube Awards returned the following year, to commemorate the best videos of 2007. That year, the number of categories was expanded from seven to twelve, while the number of videos per shortlist was reduced from ten to six. Critics noted that unlikely newcomers, such as Battle at Kruger and Stop the Clash of Civilizations by Avaaz, had triumphed over more established videos, such as I Got a Crush...On Obama and Leave Britney Alone! Reaction to the YouTube Awards was generally negative. In 2007, commentators questioned why a promotion to recognize the best videos of 2006 was taking place so late into the year, and contrasted the awards with the similar Vloggies. Attention was also drawn to the timing of the 2007 awards: five days after media conglomerate Viacom had filed a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement. Technology evangelist Don Dodge suggested that the awards were an attempt by YouTube to highlight content on their website that did not violate copyrights before the case went to trial.

Background

The words "YouTube Broadcast Yourself". The "Tube" in "YouTube" is written in a white font within a red, rounded rectangle. All other text is black. The words "Broadcast Yourself" are written in a font about half the size of "YouTube". The logo is trademarked.
YouTube logo, 2005–2011

YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, three former employees of PayPal.[1] The website was activated on February 14, 2005,[2] and quickly began to grow – in the six months to July 2006, traffic to the site grew by 297 percent.[3][4] In October that year, Google bought YouTube for US$1.65 billion;[5] two months later, Time selected "You" as their 2006 Person of the Year, to recognize the growth of user-generated content on sites such as YouTube.[6][7] Reflecting on the year, Jamie Byrne, YouTube's head of product marketing, remarked: "[2006] was really a pioneering year for online video and for user-generated content."[8] According to comScore Media Metrix, the website attracted 133.5 million visitors worldwide during January 2007.[9]

2007 Awards

As a result of the growth and success achieved during 2006, YouTube launched its own awards promotion in March 2007 to recognize the best user-generated videos of the previous year.[10] The launch of the YouTube Awards was formally announced via a press release on March 18.[11] Awards were to be presented in seven categories: Most Creative, Most Inspirational, Best Series, Best Comedy Video, Best Music Video, Best Commentary and Most Adorable.[12] Ten videos were shortlisted in each category, with the shortlists having been compiled by the site's staff.[13][14] Byrne explained: "We wanted to call out some of the most popular videos and let the users choose which ones deserve some additional recognition."[15] YouTube users were invited to vote by visiting a dedicated webpage, which went live the following day, March 19.[16] Users voted by ranking the ten videos in each category in order of preference, and could see what the up-to-date rankings were in real-time[17] – Ben Fritz of Variety said that this made the process transparent.[14]

Voting lasted for five days, closing on March 23; winners were announced two days later.[18] Their prize was a trophy (a large, glass Play Button on a heavy, metal base[19]) and prominence for their winning video on YouTube.[20] American rock band OK Go won the Most Creative award for their music video Here It Goes Again.[15] Accepting the award, lead singer Damian Kulash said that it was a surreal honor and that YouTube was changing culture "quickly and completely".[21] Singer-songwriter Terra Naomi, whose song "Say It's Possible" won in the Best Music category, thanked the voters, saying: "The YouTube community has really embraced me; it means a lot to me."[22] Naomi—who had signed a record deal with Island Records two months earlier[17]—was 2007's only female winner.[23] The remaining five winners were the Free Hugs Campaign (Most Inspirational), Ask a Ninja (Best Series), Smosh (Best Comedy), TheWineKone (Best Commentary) and Kiwi! (Most Adorable).[24]

Winners

Video still of the music video Here It Goes Again by OK Go
OK Go's music video Here It Goes Again was voted the most creative upload of the year.
Color photograph of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla of Smosh in April 2010
The Best Comedy Award went to Smosh for their sketch Stranded.
Color photograph of Terra Naomi performing live in 2007
Terra Naomi won in the Best Music category for her song "Say It's Possible".
Color photograph of a man holding a large sign saying "FREE HUGS" in a mall
The Free Hugs Campaign (creator Juan Mann pictured) was voted the most inspirational video of 2006.
2007 YouTube Awards winners and nominations
Most Creative[25] Most Inspirational[26]
Best Series[27] Best Comedy Video[28]
Best Music Video[29] Best Commentary[30]
Most Adorable[31]