Established YouTubers and studio-funded productions reigned supreme at the third Streamy Awards on Sunday, which honored achievement in online video.
Burning Love, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and Epic Rap Battles of History took the top awards with four Streamys apiece as the show handed out 16 awards over the course of the night. (Nineteen awards were announced on Wednesday.)
Host Chris Hardwick kicked off the night validating to the audience of online content creators and mainstream entertainers why there was a need for an award show like the Streamys, which hadn't taken place in three years.
“I wanted to host this show because I have a YouTube channel; I make Web videos, and I understand how hard it is,” Hardwick said, telling media companies to stop asking people to make viral videos. “TV is easy compared to Web. It just has to be watchable. Web video has to be shareable."
Hardwick, the co-founder of Nerdist Industries, has experience with both online and mainstream entertainment. He runs the Google-funded Nerdist Channel and hosts a number of shows on TV, including The Talking Dead (on which he appeared after the Streamys).
A mix of online personalities and TV entertainers, often paired with each other, presented the awards amid sometimes awkward scripted banter. Soulja Boy, Shontelle, and Boyce Avenue performed between awards, and Vanilla Ice ended the night with a number of his biggest hits.
Established YouTube personalities took early awards as Hannah Hart, KassemG, and Phil DeFranco nabbed Streamys. DeFranco won again later in the night with Audience Choice for Series of the Year for SourceFed.
"This is the most important thing in the entire world is that you watch," Helbig said. "It's free entertainment for you, and that's absolutely amazing."
Burning Love, which is a parody of The Bachelor and airs on Yahoo!, won four awards on the show. Best Male Performance: Comedy winner Ken Marino provided laughs for the audience as he thanked the Streamys for the cash bar before he chugged a cup of beer following the win for Best Comedy Series.
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and H+ The Digital Series won the awards for Best Drama Series and Best Action or Sci-Fi Series, respectively. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn was released on MachinimaPrime prior to the release of Halo 4 instead of opting for a theatrical release. H+ The Digital Series, which was part of the Google Initiative, had been in development as far back as 2006.
David Hasselhoff participated in a pre-recorded segment, which turned into a spoof of the viral "Elevator Ghost Prank" video, which featured cameos from Nicole Westbrook, Antoine Dodson, Debbie (who cried about cats in an eHarmony video), the man who danced to Beyonce in a leotard, and GloZell Green (who almost died doing the cinnamon challenge).
You can view a complete list of nominees and winners on the Streamy Awards website or watch the Streamy Awards in its entirety below.
Screengrab via Streamy Awards