Two forms of media collide at the 2015 VH1 Streamy awards

YouTube mega stars, Tyler Oakley and Grace Helbig, lent their talents to television for the night as the hosts of the 2015 VH1 Streamy Awards. Photo courtesy of streamys.org.
YouTube mega stars, Tyler Oakley and Grace Helbig, lent their talents to television for
the night as the hosts of the 2015 VH1 Streamy Awards. Photo courtesy of streamys.org.

     On Sept. 17, the fifth annual VH1 Streamy awards aired on television, marking the first time the show hit the air. The Streamys is an award show for online content on Youtube, Vine, etc. This year, popular YouTube creators Grace Helbig and Tyler Oakley hosted the show.

    The Streamys were designed to recognize the talents and accomplishments of online creators. There were a total of 55 different categories with winners chosen by the Streamy Awards Blue Ribbon Panel.

     Some of these award winners included, Colleen Ballinger as Best Actress for her character Miranda Sings, Flula for Best Comedy, Good Mythical Morning for Best Nonfiction show, PewDiePie for Best Gaming channel and King Bach for Best Viner. In the two public voted categories, Cameron Dallas won Entertainer of the Year and fouseyTUBE won Show of the Year.

     For one night, the world of Internet celebrities and traditional celebrities combined. Paula Abdul, Sean Kingston, Ciara, and Natasha Bedingfield acted as award presenters, and OMI and Sir Mix-a-Lot performed their popular hits “Cheerleader” and “Baby Got Back.”

     When YouTube began in 2004, most people used the site solely to watch silly videos of puppies and kittens sneezing or people comically falling off of skateboards or bicycles, but over the years YouTube has grown into a large, eclectic and successful community of creators.

     Now YouTube is a place where comedians, pranksters, gamers, beauty gurus, and more come to showcase their individual lives, talents, and interests. Many of these creators have very large audiences. PewDiePie, or Felix Kjellberg, who was recently interviewed on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Oct. 1, has 39 million subscribers.

     The Streamy awards being televised for the first time and the attendance of traditional celebrities is a huge step forward for the online community. YouTube, for the most part, has always been a small community where very few YouTubers are able to breakout and be recognized by the more mainstream media.

     Until recently, online entertainment was seen as very separate from more traditional entertainment, television and movies. In the past, YouTube was not seen as something that could be a career, but YouTubers such as Shane Dawson, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig, Zoe Sugg and Joey Graceffa have shown that Youtubers can not only become successful on YouTube, but they can use that success to branch out into other areas of entertainment.

     In the last few years, YouTubers, such as Zoe Sugg, Mamrie Hart and Connor Franta, have published bestselling books in a variety of genres: memoirs, fiction novels and cookbooks to name a few. Shane Dawson directed his movie “Not Cool” and won the reality TV show “The Chair” about first-time directors.

     YouTube is a form of entertainment based on true talent, skill and creativity. Finally, this platform is being taken seriously. In the last few months, YouTubers, such as Tyler Oakley and Lily Singh, a.k.a.  IISuperwomanII, have been featured on billboards in New York City and Los Angeles with the phrases “dare to be you” and “give life character.”

      Online creators are beginning to have more and more of an influence on popular culture. Who knows if online stars like, Viner Cameron Dallas or YouTuber Jenna Marbles will ever have the wide spread popularity of mega stars like Kim Kardashian and Beyonce, but with this year’s televised Streamy awards, and everything else that has been happening for the online community in recent months, anything is possible.

 

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