NEW YORK – The video series "Ask a Ninja" and OK Go's treadmill-choreographed music video are among the winners in the first YouTube Video Awards.
The video-sharing site announced the seven winners from its inaugural awards on Monday, a week after the nominees were put forth for voting. Each category included 10 nominated videos, which users could rank in order of their liking.
"These individuals put the first stitches in the fabric of the YouTube community," said Jamie Byrne, head of product marketing for YouTube. "Instead of seeing a way to share videos, they saw an opportunity for worldwide visibility and through their success have changed the landscape of how a 'star' is defined."
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The power-pop band OK Go, perhaps the most professional of the mostly amateur nominees, won most creative video for their "Here It Goes Again" music video. "Ask a Ninja," the popular comedy created by Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, won for best series.
"Ask a Ninja" triumphed over perhaps YouTube's biggest celebrity: Lonelygirl15. That bedroom production finished fourth, behind "Ask A Gay Man" and "Chad Vader."
Terra Naomi won for best music video for her song "Say It's Possible," a one-shot clip of her playing acoustic guitar and singing. Naomi has parlayed her online success into a record deal with Island Records, and will release her debut album this summer.
Best commentary was one of the most hotly contested categories, as it pitted several of YouTube's most high-profile personalities against one another. A vlogger known as "The Winekone" won over Peter Oakley ("Geriatric1927") and Paul Robinett ("Renetto").
A video calling for a "Free Hugs Campaign" won for most inspirational video. Australian Juan Mann's video set off an online wildfire of similar "Free Hugs" campaigns.
The winners and nominees are compiled in a gallery at http://www.youtube.com/YTAwards. YouTube says it will later unveil what a YouTube Video Award will look like.
Google-owned, San Bruno, Calif.-based YouTube Inc. was founded in February 2005. Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. (VIA) recently sued YouTube for $1 billion, claiming the site infringes on copyrights on a "huge scale."
Several other media companies have reached agreements to supply YouTube with clips.
According to comScore Media Metrix, YouTube attracted 133.5 million visitors worldwide in January.