YouTube is going to bring advertisers into the Partner Program. It looks like this will take place in September with American Express, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, and Pepsico and their ad agencies. Part of a pilot program, YouTube will look to expand to 100 advertisers by next year. The idea behind such a program appears to be so that advertisers will create more YouTube-specific content aside from repurposed TV advertising. A partner program for advertisers will give them extra resources to specifically succeed on YouTube.
YouTube Announces Advertiser Partner Program
The program will kick off in September with a week-long workshop in LA. Each advertiser will be assigned a partner manager to help with an overall plan for content. What I'm guessing this is going to mean for advertisers that are part of the program is...follow the strategy laid out by Red Bull. Come out with content every week, perhaps find a niche (Red Bull has an extreme sports theme, for example), and basically follow all the tenets of the YouTube Creator Playbook.
The press release quotes YouTube's Lucas Watson, VP of video online global sales, who says:
By inviting advertisers into our partner program, we hope to give them access to resources and expertise that will help them develop even more compelling and authentic content on YouTube.
I'm not entirely sure why advertisers are getting a partner program. Several advertisers already get some features that regular channel producers don't get. But I guess this is a move not only curry favor with advertisers, but getting us closer to the idea that brands are becoming more like studios.