$75,000 up for grabs in King of the Web’s contest for rising YouTube stars

Where else can you watch a man and dog compete in a yogurt eating contest, dubstep violin performances, silly dance routines,  or, for that matter, countless other inane videos?

YouTube of course. And now King of the Web, the Seattle upstart backed by the likes of aQuantive investor Nick Hanauer, Zillow Chairman Rich Barton and others, is looking to make some of these independent video publishers stars (if just for a day or week) and a little bit more coin.

We first told you about King of the Web last year, at the time asking if it was the “next great time-waster, or just a waste of time?” That question still stands.

With more than a year under its belt, King of the Web is offering its biggest payout yet. As part of its newly-launched Battle Royale event, the company plans to give away $75,000 to those rising online video stars who attract the most votes. Oh, yeah, they also will claim the title of “King of the Web 2012.”

King of the Web says that the competition will give participants the opportunity to reach new audiences, creating a “new breed of homespun celebrity.”

“I always thought money would be the main motivator for web entertainers, but it’s often secondary. They are simply driven to engage their fans in fun and meaningful ways, and the competition allows for this,” said King of the Web CEO Maggie Finch, a former aQuantive executive . “Creators work tirelessly to build earnest dialogue with their online audiences. The connection they have with their fans results in something unique we call ‘relationship entertainment’.”

Here’s a look at some of the participants in the competition, which kicked off today.