March 22, 2008— -- In the wake of the Emmys and the Oscars, perhaps it was inevitable they would be followed by the YouTube Awards, bestowing honors on the Internet's best user-generated videos.
Tens of millions voted for their favorite picks in 12 caregories, including music, sports, comedy, politics, eyewitness, and adorable. On Friday, the video-sharing site announced their winners.
This year one of the biggest Internet sensations has been the hugely popular amateur video "Chocolate Rain," which won for best music video.
"I don't have any formal training as a musician," Tay Zonday, 25, told ABC News. "I really think the YouTube Awards are the next Oscars, they're the next Emmy's."
Though there's no red carpet, no big show and no one has actually received an award, the winners have become breakout stars in their own right.
In the past six months, "Chocolate Rain" has been viewed almost 16 million times.
"Has there been interest from music labels at all? Definitely," said Zonday.
With his newfound fame, including an appearnce on the late night talk show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Zonday is staying guarded. He still won't explain what those convoluted lyrics mean from the song's catchy refrain, "chocolate rain, this is why you feel the pain."
"What is chocolate rain? I always say the question is more important than the answer," Zonday said with a straight face.
Another big win went to The Potter Puppet Pals in "The Mysterious Ticking Noise" for best comedy award. The man behind the puppets, Neil Cicierega, said he can't believe 20 million people have watched his video, or that he is among the YouTube elite.