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(New York, NY) May 1, 2012 — Pinterest, Google+ and Spotify will each be presented with their first Webby Awards alongside special recognition honorees Instagram and Bjork at The 16th Annual Webby Awards on May 21, at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The Webby Awards ceremony will be hosted by Patton Oswalt and will broadcast live at webbyawards.com starting at 4:30PM EDT.
Academy judges like Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone, Arianna Huffington and mobile phone inventor Martin Cooper selected The Webby Award Winners while Internet voters around the world chose the Winners of The Webby People's Voice Awards with a Webby record of nearly 1.5 million votes cast from over 200 countries.
Each year, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) acknowledges the outstanding individuals whose groundbreaking Internet work stands out among others. The Special Achievement Webbys, selected by the Academy, celebrate the winners' commitment to using the Internet to foster innovation and add to the growth of Internet culture.
This year's special achievement winners include Webby Person of the Year Louis CK who is being honored in acknowledgement of the groundbreaking digital-only release of his comedy special Louis C.K. - Live at the Beach Theater. The special, which was available directly from C.K.'s site for $5 and published without restrictions, set a new precedent for distribution that has since been followed by fellow comedians Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan.
Bjork will be presented with the Webby Artist of the Year Award for her "Biophilia" album. Dubbed the world's first "app album", Biophilia establishes the Icelandic musician as a ground-breaking creative innovator in the digital realm. Instagram, the photo-sharing startup that recently became a household name after the $1 billion acquisition deal with Facebook, will be honored as the Webby Breakout of the Year. Past recipients of this award include now globally-popular sensations Twitter (2009) and Flickr (2005). Additionally, Juliette Lewis and Graydon Sheppard will be honored as Best Actresses for their original YouTube series "Sh*t Girls Say."
In the wake of political and social transformation around the globe, Facebook was named the winner of the inaugural People's Special Achievement for Social Change, besting Twitter, YouTube, Kiva, and Change.org. The first-ever Award honors the important work that the Internet plays in enabling and fostering social and political development. The winner was selected by the online public as part of The Webby People's Voice voting process.
Not to be outdone, the entertainment industry's biggest names also continued to use the power of the web to encourage people do good. Wieden + Kennedy won three awards for Nike's "Back for the Future" campaign, which featured Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Bill Hader and Kevin Durant and benefitted The Michael J. Fox Foundation. Funny or Die picked up a Webby for its "Drunk History Christmas with Ryan Gosling, Jim Carrey and Eva Mendes." In the Best Drama Online Film & Video category "The Confession," which featured Kiefer Sutherland, won both a Webby and People's Voice Award. Old Spice's "Mano a Mano en El Baño" won three People's Voice Awards for Isaiah Mustafa and Fabio. And 72andSunny's campaign for "K-Swiss, MFCEO Kenny Powers" earned Danny McBride two People's Voice Awards. "Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Star Wars" was honored with two People's Voice Awards for CollegeHumor. Last, and certainly not least, Will Ferrell won his third Webby Award for impersonating President George W. Bush in Funny or Die's "President Bush Reacts to Osama Bin Laden's Death".
This year's Agency of the Year honors, highlighting the agency that wins the most overall Webby Awards (including People's Voice awards) went to BBH which won nine Webby Awards for four of their entries.
"This year's winners represent an amazing cross-section of the new and continuing trends we've seen across the Internet this year," said David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of the Webby Awards. "We want to thank all of the IADAS members -- people like Richard Branson, Biz Stone, and Arianna Huffington, among many others -- for once again picking a truly inspiring list of Webby winners. We also want to thank the online voters for making their voices heard in the form of this year's Webby People's Voice winners."
Flipboard built on its success from last year, this time winning two awards for its new iPhone application. The Onion, which won five awards in total, beat out perennial Best Humor Website winners Funny or Die and College Humor for top honors. And Showtime and HBO both took home awards for their second screen technologies -- Showtime for its Showtime Social app for iPad, and HBO for its HBO Connect website -- which allow viewers to interact with the shows they're watching on TV. Pandora, which swept the music category last year, took home two People's Voice Awards this year but it was the IADAS that voted Pitchfork as Best Music Website.
Other Highlights of The 16th Annual Webby Awards winners include:
The winners of multiple awards include:
Winners of both The Webby Award and The People's Voice Award:
Winners will be fêted at a star-studded ceremony at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on Monday, May 21, at 5:30PM. There, many will deliver their take on the famous Webby 5-Word Speeches. The show will be hosted by critically-acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer, and actor Patton Oswalt, and streamed live in HD at www.webbyawards.com. Winners will be presented with the Webby Award (as voted on by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences) and the People's Voice Award (as voted on by online fans). A full list of this year's winners can be found at http://wbby.co/winners.
For media credential information: http://www.webbyawards.com/press/cred_req.php.
About The Webby Awards:
Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by The New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising & media, online film & video, and mobile & apps. Established in 1996, The 16th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Yahoo!, Vitamin T, Funny or Die, Live Nation, MLB Advanced Media, Rackspace Hosting, JWT, The Atom Group, Financial Times, BuzzFeed, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Guardian News and Media.