Further confirmation that the TV landscape is evolving is The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' (the organization that puts on the primetime Emmys) recent announcement that the Primetime Emmy for Interactive Media will include two new areas of competition that tie user experience to either fiction or non-fiction programming.
This is not a technology award, but rather an award that honors outstanding creative achievement. In addition to having been distributed by the traditional broadcast, satellite or cable platforms, the recipient of this award could have been born from a variety of new platforms including broadband and mobile, or a combination of platforms.
Why is this newsworthy? Because the door is now open for many broadband video-only programmers, such as Revision3, TikiBarTV, or perhaps LonelyGirl15, who haven't yet inked a deal with a studio, network, or pay TV operator. As long their content fits the interactive criteria, then programs like these could be submitted and become an Emmy contender. A seismic change from yesteryear's Emmy considerations.
To qualify, entries need to be an original program or series that were deployed commercially between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008. The Interactive Media Peer group will be judging in June and will select 5 finalists in the aforementioned categories. The Peer Group is looking for submissions that have participatory interactive features and demonstrate overall creative excellence, interactive storytelling, and a compelling user experience.
If you're reading this and you've produced a program or a series that fits this description, the May 30th deadline is fast approaching. And if you don't have content that fits these qualifications, get your game on for 2009. These are exciting times where the democratization of being a Primetime Emmy winner may no longer mean that you're of network ilk. Cool!