In a posting on YouTube’s company blog, YouTube partner development manager George Strompolos announced that the online video portal has established a US$5 million ‘partner grant program’ that will ‘catalyze the creation of new ideas and production models from some of our most innovative and original content partners for the benefit and advancement of the entire industry.’ YouTube plans to select deserving recipients by analyzing criteria such as video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise. Once contacted, the content creators can then submit a proposal to YouTube which will then be judged according to ‘signals which include projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers.’ Recipients can then use the grant monies to invest in better cameras, increase production and post-production values, or expand staff. ‘The goal of YouTube Partner Grants is to act as a catalyst by infusing additional funds into the production budgets of a small group of YouTube partners who are at the forefront of innovation,’ wrote Strompolos.
Funds distributed the grant will be recouped through recipients’ future YouTube revenue shares. ‘We’ve been amazed by the creativity and resourcefulness of many of our partners,’ said Strompolos via the post. ‘Some, operating on shoe string budgets, have been able to produce incredible videos, generate substantial revenues and command an audience that rivals that of network television.’