Toronto firm snags prestigious new media award


MyThum Interactive – a Toronto-based mobile media company – has won the Canadian New Media Awards (CNMA) Company of the Year Award, widely considered the most prestigious new media accolade in this country.

At the CNMA event in Toronto yesterday evening, awards were also presented in other categories including: Excellence in Gaming, Excellence in Learning, Excellence in Cross Platform, and Excellence in the use of Social Media – a new category for 2007.

The ‘Excellence in the use of Social Media’ award was instituted by Adam Froman, president of the Toronto-based Delvinia Group of Companies a “digital agency” whose services include: persona development, data collection, customer centric design, content development, search engine optimization and digital marketing.

The award seeks to “recognize the growth of social media and the work being done by Canadians who have embraced this new media,” Froman told IT World Canada.

He said submissions were judged by two key criteria: The extent to which the company created or nurtured community growth through online tools, and the firm’s success in harnessing social media networks of an existing community to spread a message.

The selection committee that picked finalists and winners in each of the award categories included more than 135 top professionals from the corporate, academic and public sectors.

The province-wise breakup of the finalists was as follows: Ontario – 24, Quebec – 5, and one each from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

MyThum was declared Company of the Year Award winner from a shortlist of three finalists that also included: Calgary-based digital media distribution firm W-mode Inc., and Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M), a video game developer headquartered in Montreal.

Enabling brands and broadcasters build a direct relationship with consumers through their mobile phone, is the goal of MyThum Interactive.

The privately held company’s toolkit to pursue this mandate includes text messaging, interactive television, rich content, interactive voice response and promotion through digital media.

Over the years, this mobile media company has demonstrated its expertise in taking a fairly conventional service – such as text messaging – and enabling its use by a huge audience, in rather unconventional ways.

For instance, last June, MyThum managed text voting on the TELUS network for Canadian idol.

Earlier this year, the company added an interactive element to The Sound Lounge, hosted by Cory Kimm, and broadcast on CHUM Radio Stations across Canada (listeners could communicate with Cory, other artistes and fans via text messages).

MyThum’s partners include brands such as Molson, Best Buy, Nike, Warner Music, Nokia, Universal Music and Shoppers Drug Mart, as well as media companies such as CHUM, CanWest Global, Rogers Media, Corus Entertainment and Standard Broadcasting.

The Company of the Year award was sponsored by professional services and consulting firm Deloitte, which also managed the award’s selection process.

According to a CNMA statement, the three crucial prerequisites to be selected a Company of the Year finalist were: superior technology expertise, a high degree of creativity, and proven entrepreneurial ability.

“Many new media companies have some of these key skills, however, Company of the Year finalists have been successful in developing all three,” said a CNMA statement.

In addition, it said, each finalist had strong leadership teams, was resolutely committed to the Canadian new media industry’s development, and demonstrated substantial year-over-year growth.

This growth was fairly remarkable in the case of one finalist – A2M, the largest independent video game developer in Canada.

The company, which last year made it to Deloitte Technology’s Fast 50 list, grew its revenues 263 per cent in the four years from 2001 to 2005.

A2M’s president and CEO, R