The Shorty Awards announced its full slate of nominees this morning (March 16), as it celebrates its 10th year honoring some of the best work done on social platforms.
This year’s line-up of finalists, as in years past, features a slew of new media companies jockeying to be awarded for best executions and campaigns on different platforms. For example, The Washington Post has a couple of nominations for its 'Dirty John' podcast. Meanwhile, new media outlet Group Nine features a handful nominations from three of its digital publications: NowThis, The Dodo, and Thrillist.
Streaming companies Hulu, Netflix, and Fullscreen also brought in multiple nominations, where more traditional broadcasters Viacom, Fox, and NBCUniversal and their properties face off in both television categories, and on their utilization and integration of Snapchat, Facebook Live, Twitter and other social platforms. Foreign-based outlets such as RT and Al Jazeera also grabbed nods from the Shorty's panel of judges.
Gregory Galant, co-founder of the Shortys, has found that brands and outlets alike are looking to keep their audiences connected at all times. “Authentic engagement has been a powerful trend this past year,” he said. “Brands are putting a lot of resources into connecting with their audiences and building true communities. We see this in the ways they are using Facebook Live for real-time engagement with their fans.”
Also a notable trend, the rise of branded podcasts. “Brands are also investing heavily in branded series and podcasts,” he added. “This provides a call to action for their audience to check in regularly, and stay up to date on a brand's latest news.”
The emergence of technology in the storytelling world was also something he felt audiences should get used to, especially AR. “We are going to see more and more brands delve into augmented reality,“ Galant added, which has been risen sharply in popularity over the past year."
On the 10-year milestone, and how social content evolved over the years, Galant, who's also chief executive of Muck Rack, said: "Short-form content has gotten longer on social media over the last 10 years. 140 characters is now 280. Rather than only view single square photographs, you can view stories that last minutes on Instagram. The leading purveyor of six-second videos, Vine, is no more. Yet content on social is still drastically shorter than a TV show or movie. This leaves a lot more room for creativity as anyone can create content.”
The independence of new creators was one of the most thrilling things for Galant to watch, without need of “Brands, too,” he added, “have been able to be much more nimble, and try out new ideas without having to spend millions on a campaign.”
The Shorty Awards take place on April 15 at the Playstation Theatre in New York City, as well as via livestream and on YouTube. View the full list of nominees here.