BBC and Emap dominate Awards by appealing to iPod generation

Winners at this year’s AOP Online Publishing Awards embrace blogging, podcasting and live streaming. Traditional media giants The BBC and Emap were recognised for successfully tapping into the iPod generation’s thirst for innovative ways of receiving and interacting with quality, branded content. Emap received Awards for its Q4Music.com/blog and WhatsOn.com website, while The BBC’s radio download trial was rewarded for providing listeners with a variety of programming via MP3s and podcasts.

Last Friday’s (7/10/2005) awards ceremony, attended by around 650 guests at the London Hilton, Park Lane, was dominated by Emap, winning three AOP Awards. Hot on Emap’s heels were The BBC, The Guardian, and Reed Business Information, each of whom collected two Awards.

Emap’s successful evening began with WhatsOn.com winning the AOP Award for Launch of 2005. The site offers live streams for Emap radio stations such as Kerrang and Kiss and, since its launch in June 2005, already boasts 1.2 million users. The judges’ verdict: “The site offers creative, relevant and easy-to-use material for the iPod generation.” Emap’s Q4Music.com/blog also took the AOP honour for Innovation 2005. The judges were especially taken with the Q Glastonbury Blog, which provided a personal and colourful record of the festival’s happenings, whilst Emap Automotive’s Parkers Online sales team won the Online Advertising Sales Team 2005 prize.

The BBC’s radio download trial was given the AOP Award for use of a New Digital Platform. Judges said: “The BBC is setting the agenda of technological development and ensuring that radio remains relevant in a digital age.” As the first UK broadcaster to embrace podcasting in autumn 2004, it now offers a wide variety of programmes as MP3s and podcasts. Judges cited impressive use of content and analysis for the increase in user participation, which saw BBC.co.uk win the Website 2005 Award (consumer), with unique viewers rising from 10 million per month in July 2004 to 25 million per month in July 2005.

Guardian Newspapers gained the AOP Online Publisher 2005 Award (consumer) for Guardian.co.uk, with judges praising the publisher’s “innovation and ability to develop new revenue streams.” It also won the Award for Editorial team of 2005 (consumer) for its sporting websites Guardian.co.uk/football and Guardian.co.uk/sport. Judges described the editorial as incisive, setting the benchmark for quality.

The AOP Chairman’s Award presented by AOP Chairman and Haymarket MD Bill Murray, went to Channel 4. Murray said: “Channel 4’s energy, imagination and enthusiasm enable it to reach and inspire a whole new audience that wants to interact with content through a number of different formats. By embracing new technology, Channel 4 is able to spread these content opportunities across a multitude of channels, providing a great example of cross-media thinking. This has resulted in some truly innovative content, specifically created and adapted for the medium, delivered for more than five million users per month.”

Reed Business Information gained the award for AOP Online Publisher 2005 (business), for the second year running, impressing the judges with its portfolio of sites demonstrating both varied content and technological innovation. It was also acclaimed in the AOP Commercial Partnership Award, for collaboration between ICISLOR.com and WRAP.org.uk/mpr.

Dennis Interactive’s MaximMag.co.uk won the AOP Award for a Cross-media Project, impressing the judges with its ability to use online to communicate brand values outside its core readership, besides creating profitable extensions to the brand. Centaur’s TheLawyer.com picked up the Website 2005 (business) Award after showing impressive revenue growth of 28 per cent year-on-year. TSL Education won the Editorial Team 2005 (business) Award with its TES.co.uk site, covering primary, secondary and further education, also using blogs to enhance its relationship with consumers. Finally, the National Theatre’s StageWork.org.uk claimed the Design 2005 Award for a website that allows users to go behind the scenes of some of the UK’s leading theatre productions.

The list of winners can be viewed at: www.ukaop.org.uk/awards.
Further information on the conference and awards, and on AOP, can be found at www.ukaop.org.uk.
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About AOP

For more information about the AOP events in 2005, visit www.ukaop.org.uk/awards or email Lisa Quinlan Rahman at: events@ukaop.org.uk or call 020 7400 7532.

The UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) is an industry body representing online publishing companies that create original, branded, quality content. AOP champions the interests of approximately 160 publishing companies from diverse backgrounds including newspaper and magazine publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, and pure online media. Together they publish around 1,150 products and attract more than five billion page impressions per month.

AOP presents a unified voice to industry and Government, specifically to address issues and concerns relating to all areas of online publishing. AOP publishes original research, hosts forums, conferences and events, covering a range of topics from paid-for-content, subscription models and data protection, through to copyright, content management, new technologies and audience measurement.

AOP recently investigated the importance of B2B websites in the lives of business decision makers, in research titled 'The role of B2B websites'. Last year AOP produced the highly acclaimed consumer research ‘Reaching the Online Elite’ and every year it delivers the annual member benchmarking study, the ‘AOP Census’.

The AOP autumn Online Publishing Conference & Awards is its annual industry event. It attracts the biggest names in online publishing to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry and celebrate outstanding achievement. The 2005 event will be held on 7 October at the London Hilton, Park Lane.

Members include Associated New Media, BBC, BSkyB, Capital Radio Group, CNET Networks, Channel 4, Dennis Interactive, The Economist Group, Emap, FT.com, Future Publishing, Guardian Unlimited, Haymarket Publishing, Independent Digital, IPC Media, ITV Online, News International, Reed Business Information, Reuters, Telegraph Group Limited and Which?. In addition, PPAi (Periodical Publishers Association Interactive) retains a corporate seat on AOP board: representing the interests of magazine publishers online. www.ukaop.org.uk

Contact:

Matthew Leach
immediate future Ltd.
0845 408 2031
pressoffice@immediatefuture.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th October 2005