Europe's best digital ideas recognised in Vienna

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WAN-Ifra has closed the first day of its Digital Media Europe conference by honouring the best work being produced in the region.

Winners of the European Digital Media Awards were announced on Monday evening, and will go forward to World Digital Media Awards, to be announced during the World News Media Congress in Glasgow (June 1-3).

Here are highlights from the winners:

The winners of the 12th annual European Digital Media Awards are:

-An app from one of Germany's top publishers learns which topics are interesting to what degree for an individual user. "This knowledge in relation to other, comparable users brings the personal gems to the very forefront of the app," says the FAZ. Read more about it by clicking here.

-Amedia's live streaming sports service helped the publisher to strengthen their connection with local fans, which in turn provided the company with a new path to subscription growth. "Bravo! The clear winner in this category," said one of our judges. "Creating a live-sports vertical to drive digital subscriptions is brilliant. It adds tremendous value. Great job." Read more about the initiative and how it developed by clicking here.

-VG came up with a creative use for advanced facial recognition technology that encouraged users to upload a photo of themselves to discover which of the 736 World Cup football players they looked the most like. "A very original and effective solution to engage the public and make them participate and share," said one of our judges. "A magnificent usability and modern and attractive design, a technically sophisticated good project that combines equal parts creativity and efficiency in results." Try World Cup Twin by clicking here.

-The Guardian developed a unique interactive storytelling approach to illustrate to readers how Amazon became the world's first trillion dollar company.

"A magnificent example of how to tell a relevant story in a simple and elegant way," said our judges. "Perfect combination of movement, elementary graphics, and number at the service of history and not the other way around." Click here to see the story.

-The native advertising studio of Croatian publisher 24Sata impressed our judges, with one noting that it offers a "good combination that unites immersive experiences, with editorial expertise and its amplification in networks."

-In creating a marketing campaign to promote the strength of the VG brand and their news coverage, VG decided to make a short film that showed how the publisher would cover the news if the country's second largest city, Bergen, decided to separate itself from Norway and form its own country. They intentionally exaggerated the storyline and situations so that people would know that it was intended as a satire of Brexit as well as events in Catalonia. Click here to watch a video about the background to the campaign.

-The Guardian adopted a reader-funded business model that encourages readers to financially support their journalism. The effort is paying off as the publisher is closing in on break-even and people from around the world are joining up and contributing. Noted one of our judges: "A reference model that allows users to obtain direct income while maintaining an open model in which quality and respect for users are paramount." Read more about what The Guardian is doing by clicking here.

-Euronews created an interactive 360-degree video that offered users ways to discover more about one of France's largest cities by providing a look at places to see, eat and sleep. Click here to see the video.

-A weekly Instagram feature from The Guardian helps users become familiar with some of the common practices that are used in fake news stories. "Love this!! Great way to educate younger audiences on fake vs. real news. Well done," said one of our judges. "This is excellent," said another. "We have these great tools for communication (social media) and when used to spread good their effect can be incredible. We need more of this and, hopefully, the example can be followed by other newsrooms." See examples from this feature by clicking here.

-Namdalsavisa and Nye Namsos created a team of three agents: a policeman, a priest, and a bartender, to visit eight different towns throughout Norway within eight days with the goal of Finding the Best of Every Place. Everything was presented live with daily broadcasts on Facebook, which the agents led. "Really impressive and broad approach," said judges. "Very creative and even better, very strong on user involvement. Potential gold."

The Digital Media Europe 2019 conference, which continued on Tuesday, attracted about 300 participants to Vienna.

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