Since its inception in 1996, The Webby Awards’ unwavering mission has been to honor excellence on the Internet.
Born as part of The Web, a magazine from tech publisher IDG, The Webbys used $30,000 and in-kind donations from 11 companies to produce the first-ever Webby Awards in ’96.
The awards launched with 15 categories, and Webby Winners were selected by an array of Internet aficionados – a group that would become the basis for the International Academy of the Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). When IDG closed The Web in 1998, it allowed the Webby team to carry on because of The Webby Awards’ overwhelming success (in fact, many from the original Webby team still guide the awards today).
The Webbys’ success parallels the rise of the Internet itself. From humble beginnings, The Webby Awards has become the undisputed top honor for Websites; Video; Advertising, Media & PR; Apps, Mobile, and Voice; Social; Podcasts; and Games. And just as the Web is a critical tool for every area of life today, The Webby Awards remains the most important and relevant award honoring achievement in interactive media.
For over the past two decades, The Webbys has achieved many milestones. Work in Online Film & Video and Mobile & Apps was first honored in 2007—the year before the iPhone came out. In 2009, the daily email publication Netted by the Webbys was launched, now reaching an audience of over half a million subscribers.
The team behind the Webbys is also proud to have founded Internet Week New York alongside Mayor Bloomberg in 2008. IWNY is already a top annual gathering for Internet leaders, with 50,000 people turning out for more than 200 events throughout the city. In November 2010, the festival went global with the first-ever Internet Week Europe in London. In 2012, Crain Communications purchased the majority stake of Internet Week.
What’s more, this year’s Webby Awards received 13,000 entries from 70 countries around the world and were reviewed by an unprecedented quality of judges. The awards show, hosted at Cipriani Wall Street, is supported by great marketing and strategic partners like YouTube, HBO, WP Engine, EY, YouGov, Vitamin T, The Hollywood Reporter, WNYC Studios, Digiday, Glixel, Product Hunt, and Social Media Week.
As always, The Webby Awards is pointing to the future. Our goal is to make the next 20 years even better than the last.