Dublin-headquartered online music video site Muzu.tv, which has struck major deals with labels like Universal, Sony BMG and EMI, picked up last night’s top gong at the IIA NetVisionary awards for its breakthrough in building a commercial model for the music business in the digital economy.
Muzu TV allows fans to create, watch and share music-video playlists. Users can create video playlists from thousands of videos and embed them on their social- networking sites. The site generates its revenue by sharing ad revenues with artists and labels.
"This year’s Overall Net Visionaries, Ciarán Bollard and Mark French of Muzu TV, have developed a TV website and distribution platform that shows that world beating businesses can be founded and funded here in Ireland,” IIA chair Maeve Kneafsey explained.
“Muzu TV is an inspiration to the current and future generations of internet entrepreneurs who know that the internet means that there are no boundaries on what we can do in Ireland, the only limit being our imagination.”
Developing this theme, Fergal O’Byrne, IIA CEO, commented, "This is the third year that the visionary behind a niche application with global appeal has been presented with this award. In 2007 it was Fergus Burns of Nooked.com, and in 2008 Pat Phelan of MaxROAM. Now in 2009 Ciarán Bollard and Mark French of Muzu TV have been honoured for creating specialised applications that leverage the power and global reach of the internet to create sustainable and scalable businesses."
"We’re really honoured to have received such a prestigious award," said Ciaran Bollard, CEO and co-founder of MUZU.TV. "It’s truly the icing on the cake in what has been an amazing year so far, with a host of new deals with major and independent record labels and accelerated growth in consumers using the site particularly in the U.K. and Ireland.
“Muzu now has one of the largest music video offerings on the web, covering everything from live concerts, music documentaries and official music videos from thousands of the biggest artists in the world. Muzu continues to receive incredible support from the music industry and advertisers alike and we look forward to building upon these relationships and making the site a global success,” Bollard.
Enterprising Cork blogger and social media consultant Damien Mulley was the recipient of the Business Blogger Award, while technology journalist Emmet Ryan who is breaking new ground in video reporting was recognised as Journalist of the Year.
Amongst the winners in the other 15 categories were Puddleducks.ie, a small company based in Carrigaline, Co. Cork. They were nominated in two categories and won the prize in the Best Online Trader category. Aedan Ryan, Director of Puddleducks shared what winning a Net Visionary award means to them:
"As a small home-based business, winning an IIA Net Visionary award means a huge amount to PuddleDucks. There is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from starting up and building up the business to this stage where we have received recognition from peers in the Irish web community. We are honoured to be in the company of so many fantastic examples of Irish enterprise."
Mike Brennan CEO of RateMyArea, a recent start-up, was delighted to win in the Best Social Media Category saying, "We are thrilled that RateMyArea has won the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ category.
“Our nomination is a testament to our community of Raters and the great local knowledge that they share. They help businesses understand the importance of social networking and being part of the online conversation and that using a website like ours is different to more traditional advertising, which is essentially just shouting at people!,” Brennan added.
Other award winners last night included:
Best Business Podcaster award: Krishna De, BizGrowthNews
Best Online Financial Service award: Warren Healy, LocalLotto.ie
Innovation award: Jacquie Branagan, Births Deaths Marriages Ltd
Internet Entrepreneur award: Andrew Molony, GreenJobs Ltd.
Internet Marketer award: Ger Karlsson, DoneDeal.ie
Mobile Internet Innovation: Trey Harvin, dotMobi
Online Tourism award: Steward Stephens, Gulliver InfoRes / GoIreland.com
Social Contribution award: Ruairí McKiernan, SpunOut.ie
Web Designer Excellence award: Nicholas Merrigan, Newmedia
Web Developer Excellence award: Iarfhlaith Kelly, WebStrong for Twission.com
By John Kennedy