announced a new grant program that will distribute $5 million to "new and emerging YouTube partners. According to Google, the YouTube Partner Grants program is designed to find the best new ideas and production models from YouTube's content partners. As Google notes, many successful YouTube partners are able to generate substantial revenues, but they still lack the resources of studio-backed production houses.Google just
The grants will allow producers to invest in better equipment and hire more talent. According to Google, there are very few restrictions on what the selected producers can do with their money. It's worth noting, though, that Google's grants will serve as an advance "against the partner's future YouTube revenue share."
As George Stromplos, the partner development manager at YouTube told the L.A. Times, "We think this is an important investment to make in the future of our original content partners. They've invested in us for years by creating content. And now it's our turn to invest in them."
Of course, it remains to be seen if additional money will make these partners more creative, or if it was the lack of funds that allowed these producers to kindle their creativity in the first place. What is clear, however, is that YouTube's advertising partners would like to place their ads around more professionally produced content on the site. While Google heralds this grant program as a way to encourage the creativity of it's most promising producers, it is also a way for YouTube to encourage brand advertisers to advertise on the site.
How it Works
Google plans to identify eligible partners based on metrics like their growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise. The company will then invite these partners to submit Grant proposals, which will be evaluated by YouTube.