Webby Awards announced its 2013 winners

Digital & Media, Festivals & Awards

Mars Curiosity Rover, The Verge, Google Maps for iPhone, Charlize Theron, Red Bull Stratos, Humans of New York, HuffPost Live, and Songza are just some of the Webby winners that will be saluted alongside special achievement honorees Frank Ocean, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti, Obama for America 2012, Grimes, Burning Love and GIF inventor Steve Wilhite at the 17th Annual Webby Awards, as organizers announced.

Judges in the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), like Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone, Arianna Huffington and Instagram creator Kevin Systrom, selected The Webby Award Winners while Internet voters around the world chose the Winners of The Webby People’s Voice Awards, setting a Webby Awards record with votes from over 200 countries and territories.

 The star-studded ceremony will be available to view on-demand in HD at watch.webbyawards.com beginning at 9 a.m. ET on May 22, 2013. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by critically acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer and actor Patton Oswalt.

IADAS also announced a set of outstanding individuals and breakout achievements that will be recognized with Webby Special Achievement Awards. Joining the ranks of Al Gore, Prince, Sir Tim Berners Lee, and Björk are:

  •  Webby Person of the Year: R&B music artist Frank Ocean will be honored for proving the power of the Web as a medium for cultural change when he published his letter “thank you’s” to his Tumblr. By challenging stereotypes historically ingrained in the hip-hop and R&B music communities, Ocean brought a conversation about discrimination to the national dialogue. The launch of his debut album Channel Orange in parallel with the statement was a historic moment for both the music and social media industries, and for popular culture as a whole.
  • Outstanding Comedic Performance: Jerry Seinfeld will be honored for his performance in the hit Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The 10-episode series, which chronicles the conversations between Seinfeld and his comedian friends, including Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin, and Larry David, demonstrated the continued merging of Hollywood-style entertainment with the Internet.
  • Webby Special Achievement: Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti will be honored for their role in creating and producing Netflix’s groundbreaking series, House of Cards. The widely acclaimed series was Netflix’s first major original program, and its first season success has been heralded as a watershed moment for the entertainment powerhouse.
  •  Webby Breakout of the Year: The Obama for America 2012 campaign and its tech team’s historic effort masterfully combined savvy political and tech genius to become the secret weapon behind President Obama’s commanding reelection. Most significantly, the team’s unique understanding of the power of big data ensured a real-time analysis of American voters that enabled the campaign to more efficiently read and target voters than ever before.
  •  Webby Artist of the Year: Grimes will be honored for a deep understanding of the Internet as not only a distribution platform for her music and art, but as a social tool to connect with fans through candid, meaningful dialogue. In 2012, on the strength of her breakthrough album Visions, she was on myriad “best of” lists and topped The Hype Machine’s increasingly influential “Most Blogged Artists” list.
  • Webby Special Achievement: Burning Love and its team including Ben Stiller, Ken Marino, and Erica Oyama will all be recognized for successfully challenging the standards of network television with regard to both production quality and distribution. Burning Love has set a new benchmark for quality content on the Web.
  •  Webby Athlete of the Year: Chris Kluwe, punter for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, will be honored for his online activism, including essays, online debates and tweets, against the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. His open letter to Maryland state assembly delegate Emmett Burns via sports website Deadspin was a candid, compelling, and opinionated voice among contemporary athletes who often elect to stay out of controversial conversations.
  •  Webby Lifetime Achievement: Steve Wilhite’s two-decades old invention, the .GIF file format, has proven to be one of the most durable and enabling achievements in modern computing history. Despite developments in moving image and animation technology on the Web, the .GIF remains a staple among image formats used to spread news and information and is a key enabler of NetArt, memes and pop culture trends across the globe.

The entertainment industry’s biggest names continued to use the Internet to produce some of their best work.

  • Justin Bieber won the People’s Voice Award for “Girlfriend” Fragrance Launch in the Social Media Campaigns
  • Rainn Wilson’s Soulpancake won two People’s Voice Awards for Best Variety and Best Variety (Channel) in Online Film & Video category
  • Funny or Die earned two Webby Awards for its videos “Charlize Theron Gets Hacked” and “The Wire: The Musical.”
  • The Onion earned its record 18th and 19th Webbys for Best Humor Website.
  • One of the breakout stars of the 2012 Presidential Election, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, earned its second consecutive Webby Award for the Best Political Blog.
  • The ESPN 30 for 30 Short Film Series, which featured shorts about legends Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer and Walt “Clyde” Frazier, picked up a Webby Award for Best Documentary Series.
  • Gaga’s Workshop, pop sensation Lady Gaga’s social media integration with her storefront at Barney’s, was honored with the Celebrity/Fan Social Presence Webby Award.

Other winners of 17th Annual Webby Awards include:

  • DoSomething.org: Best Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit (Webby Award Winner)
  • Twitch: Best Games-Related  (Webby People’s Voice Award Winner)
  • One Tiny Hand: Best Weird Website (Webby Award Winner)
  • Mashable: Best Business Blog (Webby & People’s Voice Award Winner)
  • Techcrunch: Best News (Tablet) (Webby Award Winner)
  • Angry Birds Star Wars: Best User Experience Games (Webby & People’s Voice Award Winner)
  • Nike Fuel Band: Best Connected Products (Webby People’s Voice Award Winner), Social Gaming (Webby Award Winner), Consumer Electronics & Services (Webby Award Winner) and Mobile & Experience Marketing (Webby Award Winner)
  • The New York Times: Best News & Information (Social) (Webby & People’s Voice Award Winner)
  • Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco Digital: Best Celebrity/Fan Website (Webby & People’s Voice Award Winner)
  • HBO Go: Best Practices Mobile & Apps (Webby & People’s Voice Award Winner), Best Media Streaming Service Mobile & Apps (Webby Award Winner)
  • VICE News: Best News & Politics Series Online Film & Video (Webby Award Winner)
  • The Engadget Show: Best Technology Online Film & Video (Webby & People’s Voice Award Winner)

Winners of multiple awards include, among others:

  • Dumb Ways to Die (7) (Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best Viral Online Film & Video, Best Animation Film & Video and Best Viral Marketing Interactive Advertising & Media and People’s Voice Award for Best Public Service & Activism (Social Content & Marketing))
  • Dropbox (6) (Webby Award for Best Utilities & Services (Handheld Devices) and People’s Voice Award for Best Practices (Website Features and Design), Best Utilities and Services (Handheld Devices), Best Utilities and Services (Tablet and all other devices), Best Web Services & Applications (General Website))
  • Google Maps for iPhone (5) (Webby and People’s Voice for Best Use of GPS or Location Technology (All Devices), Best User Experience (All Devices) and People’s Voice for Best Guides/Ratings/Reviews (Handheld Devices))
  • Tumblr (5) (Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best User Experience (Website Features and Design) and Best Community (General Website) and People’s Voice Award for Best Social (Tablet and All other Devices))
  • HBO Go (4) (Webby Award for Best Media Streaming Service (All Devices), Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best Practices (All Devices) and People’s Voice Award for Best Consumer Electronics & Services Website (Websites, Micro Sites, and Rich Media))
  • Nike+ FuelBand (4) (Webby Awards or Best Consumer Electronics & Services Interactive Advertising & Media, Best Mobile & Experience Marketing Interactive Advertising & Media, Best Social Gaming (Handheld Devices) Mobile & Apps and People’s Voice Award for Best Connected Products (All Devices))
  • The Onion (4) (Webby Award for Best Humor Website, Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best Entertainment (Tablet and all other Devices) and People’s Voice Award for Best Entertainment (Social Content and Marketing))
  • Our Food. Your Questions. (4) (Webby Awards for Best Food & Beverage Interactive Advertising & Media, Best Integrated Campaigns Interactive Advertising & Media and Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best Customer Service (General Excellence Categories))
  • Pinterest (4) (Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best Social (Handheld Devices), Best Social Media (General Website))
  • Hashtag Killer (3) (Best Online Commercials Interactive Advertising & Media, Best Public Service & Activism Social Presence, Best Social Media Campaigns Interactive Advertising & Media)
  • Red Bull Stratos (3) (Webby Award for Best Events & Live Webcasts Online Film & Video and Webby and People’s Voice Awards for Best Branded Entertainment Short Form (General Film Categories), Best Branded Entertainment Short Form Online film & Video)

The Academy consults with sponsor PriceWaterhouseCoopers on all rules and processes. You can find the full list of this year’s winners here

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, Mobile & Apps, and Social. Established in 1996, this year’s Webbys received over 11,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide this year. The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Microsoft, Google+, Citibank, Twitter, Dell, Vitamin T, Quantcast, Dell, MailChimp, Yext, Engine Yard, Funny or Die, MLB Advanced Media, Mashable, Business Insider, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Area17, Forsman & Bodenfors and Guardian News and Media.