DCP, Tubefilter to shop Internet programming kudos to TV outlets
EXCLUSIVE: With the fate of the Golden Globe Awards in the hands of the courts, Dick Clark Prods. is developing another kudocast.DCP has pacted to produce the Streamy Awards, a two-year-old franchise devoted to recognizing the best in Internet entertainment. The company is currently looking for a TV home for the event, though some if not all of the Streamys will be situated online. No date or location for the next Streamys has been set. DCP aims to make the Streamys as big an event as any of the ones currently on its roster. “The goal is to create another franchise along the lines of our American Music Awards or the Academy of Country Music Awards,” said Ariel Elazar, VP of digital distribution and brand licensing at DCP. “I believe in it.” The rights to the Streamys are owned by Tubefilter, an online publication devoted to online video. “It’s very validating that a Hollywood stalwart like Dick Clark Prods. is coming on board with us,” said Drew Baldwin, co-founder of Tubefilter. Both orgs see the time as right to expand the Streamys to capitalize on the bustling intersection of entertainment and technology. DCP and Tubefilter aim to mine star power from the overlapping spheres of Internet sensations like Rebecca Black and the increasing amount of artists with legs planted in both the online and offline worlds, from Justin Bieber to the Old Spice Guy. A relaunched Streamys could also be in position to recognize the increasing number of premium programming efforts that are in development from non-traditional TV sources like David Fincher’s “House of Cards,” a series in the works that will initially be exclusive to Netflix, and Hulu’s “A Day in the Life,” from documaker Morgan Spurlock. Turning the Streamys into a mainstream staple of awards season would amount to quite a reversal of fortune for the franchise, which was roundly criticized after its 2010 edition was marred by numerous technical problems. That fiasco prompted the Intl. Academy of Web Television to disassociate itself from the Streamys after teaming with Tubefilter to produce that event. The Intl. Academy decided to launch its own event in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association. The IAWTV Awards will be held in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The Streamys have been loosely structured like the Emmys or Oscars, handing out dozens of awards for acting, directing and writing in mostly short-form entertainment restricted to the Internet. While mostly a niche attraction for the indie scene that has arisen around digital entertainment over the years, Streamys has drawn appearances from Hollywood glitterati as prominent as Neil Patrick Harris and Lisa Kudrow, who have produced and starred in webisodes of note like “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and “Web Therapy,” respectively. Back in April, MTV Networks tried a similar concept with the O Music Awards, an online-only event that handed out huzzahs for everything from best tweet (winner: Kanye West) to best viral dance (Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair”). And the appeal of launching a new franchise for DCP is likely further whetted by how even the established kudocasts like the Academy Awards have been supplemented in recent years by aggressive social-media components that are credited with helping to stem the long-term trend of declining ratings for televised awards fetes. While many of the details of the new and improved Streamys are still being worked out, DCP and Tubefilter are already conceiving it as less a one-off event than a multi-month interactive extravaganza that incorporates audience participation including voting on select categories well in advance of the show itself. Also in the works is a blue-ribbon panel of digital-minded figures from the music, TV and film industries whose votes would be tallied for nominations and winners. Elazar is hoping to recruit so-called influencers who could be in position to maximize exposure for Streamy winners in the same fashion as the Oscars helps raise visibility for some of the more obscure films the Academy honors. Meanwhile, DCP and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. await a decision on the Golden Globes. U.S. District Judge Valerie Baker Fairbank is said to be close rendering a judgment that will determine which entity will control the future of that franchise.