Now Accepting Nominations for the 2009 Readers' Choice Awards
Today we start accepting nominations for the third annual Streaming Media Readers' Choice Awards, still the only awards program in the streaming industry that lets the people who matter most—that is, the end users—have their say about which products, services, and companies are best helping them do their jobs.
In each of the last two years, more than 3,000 Streaming Media readers have voted in the awards. The first step, however, is the nomination process. End users can nominate their choices in each category, or companies can submit their own products and services. In an effort to both acknowledge the growth of online video in general and to better reflect the differences among product and service offerings, we've expanded the number of categories this year from 19 to 22. Some categories from past years are gone—ones in which there just weren't enough players to warrant a competition, or ones in which an apples-to-apples comparison was nearly impossible to make.
Here are this year's categories:
• Best Streaming Innovation 2009
The first of two industry-wide categories, designed to acknowledge the product, technology, or service that most changed the streaming landscape in the past year.
• Best Online Video Startup Company 2009 - Content
• Best Online Video Startup Company 2009 - Technology
Another industry-wide category, designed to highlight the new companies that made the biggest splash and is poised for long-term success—one company focused on content and another focused on technology.
• Encoding Software (Under $1,000)
• Encoding Software (Over $1,000)
It doesn't seem fair to pit enterprise-grade encoding solutions against single-workstation software, so in this year's awards we're breaking down encoding software into these two categories.
• Enterprise Video Platform
Solutions that offer complete control over creating, publishing, managing, and distributing content specifically designed for the enterprise environment—not simply online video platforms that can be applied in the enterprise.
• Hardware Encoder (HD)
• Hardware Encoder (SD)
As with encoding software, it made sense to split this category into two this year, for hardware devices that capture and encode content in HD/SD and in SD only.
• Live Video Streaming Platform
Platforms that allow users to easily stream live video over the web from a wide range of devices from mobile phones and webcams up through DV cameras.
• Global CDN
Content delivery networks with truly global reach
• Online Video Platform (Free)
• Online Video Platform (Premium)
White-label or branded video publishing platforms, again separated into two subcategories: the free, consumer and prosumer-level platforms and the premium platforms used by SMB, enterprise, and entertainment organizations.
• Portable Live Encoding Appliance
Hardware devices designed specifically for capturing, encoding, and outputting live video from the field and on-the-go.
• Regional (North American) Delivery Network
Content delivery networks with a footprint that's confined to the U.S, Canada, and Central and South America
• Reporting and Analytics Solution
Solutions for delivering video viewership and/or network status reporting and analytics, whether standalone or as part of a larger offering
• Search and Indexing Platform
Solutions that utilize metadata, speech/facial recognition, or other methods to help users easily find the video they're looking for
• Server Hardware/Software
Solutions for delivering audio and video files over the web, regardless of delivery protocol
• Streaming Music Solution
Internet radio and other music streaming services
• Transcoding SaaS
Cloud-based transcoding services
• Video Advertising Network
Companies that help brands execute video campaigns via online publishers• Video Advertising Management Platform
Platforms that perform ad insertion and offer pre-built placement options and success tracking
• Webcasting/Presentation Solution
Services or products that capture video and audio, combine with slides and images, and deliver to online viewers in an interactive environment, live and/or on demand.
We'll be accepting nominations at www.streamingmedia.com/readerschoice until August 31. We'll then evaluate all nominations to make sure they're appropriate for the categories and present them on StreamingMedia.com on September 7. Reader voting will be open from September 7 until October 16, and we'll announce the top three finalists in each category on October 23.
Winners will be announced at a reception at Streaming Media West on November 19 and on StreamingMedia.com the next day, with a special feature on the winners running in the December/January issue of Streaming Media magazine.
[Note that were also running a European Readers' Choice awards program; click here to vote in those awards until August 21.]