A mobile and tablet innovation category has been introduced alongside a 'one to watch' category – decided by public vote – for individuals or businesses. Meanwhile the number of shortlisted nominees from established organisations dropped significantly in comparison with previous years.
"I think it's a reflection on the market," said Tim Faircliff, interim managing director at the AOP, speaking to Journalism.co.uk. "You don't have to have a 150-year legacy print business in order to compete within the digital arena."
The highest number of nominations falls to Dennis Publishing with eight, while RBI receives seven and Guardian News & Media, which led the shortlist last year, has six.
Entries for the awards came from a wide range of publishers. "One of my observations, and I can't prove this is that part of the reason there is a wider spread is that we had a more diverse set of judges than we had in previous years," said Faircliff, explaining how the panel included experts in social media, mobile and other modern industries as well as publishers and suppliers.
Vice Media, entered the competition for the first time and is shortlisted in the 'best website' and 'best editorial team for consumer publications' categories, while the Huffington Post returns for the second year.
Shortlisted nominations for the mobile and tablet innovation category include the Reuters' interactive photography app The Wider Image, Ignition by Auto Trader of the Trader Media Group, among others.
The individual 'ones to watch' for 2013, described as emerging talent under the age of 35, is to be decided by public vote in the two weeks before the awards ceremony and through the night itself.
Alex Watson, head of app development at Dennis Publishing; Anna Fielding, editor at Stylist.co.uk; Paul Lomax, chief technical officer at Dennis Publishing; and Tom Cullen, editor of shortlist.com and editor-in-chief of Mr Hyde, are all up for the award.
Mr Hyde, a daily newsletter described as an "informed friend" by Shortlist, is one of six nominations in the 'launch' category alongside UBM's Big Data Republic online community and The Wider Image.
The rest of the categories and nominees can be found on the awards' website.