Monday, July 19, 2010

YouTube Launches $5 Million Grant Program

YouTube has announced the launch of a $5 million program to support amateur video creators and help them attract a larger audience to its Web site.

Several emerging YouTube video creators have been able to generate substantial revenues and command an audience that rivals those of the broadcast networks while managing all aspects of their business, from writing, filming, and producing content to the marketing, post-production, and distribution of videos. Despite this success, however, many video creators lack the resources and deep financial backing available to studio-backed production houses.

To remedy the situation, YouTube established the Partner Grants program to bolster the production budgets of a small group of YouTube video creators who are at the forefront of innovation. The grants will serve as an advance against the video creators' future YouTube revenue share, enabling them to invest in better cameras, shoot for higher production values, expand their marketing efforts, and hire more staff, with the ultimate goal of bringing a richer body of content to YouTube users and advertisers and raising the creative bar for online video.

"Ultimately the game has changed, and people are throwing the rules out the window," George Strompolos, partner development manager at YouTube, told the New York Times. "Folks who ten years ago couldn't even get their content shared to friends across the street are now connecting with audiences around the world. We see that not only as a cute thing, where someone has a viral hit, we see these people as the next content creators, the next brand in original programming. It's where our roots have always been, and we are doubling down on that type of programming."

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