Two of YouTube’s biggest new initiatives–Creator Institute & Next Up–are moving on to the next stage. Creator Institute is an honest-to-goodness college course in making & marketing better videos, and Next Up is a contest for partners to compete for a prize of $35,000 and a spot in a special video boot camp. After careful screening by a panel of video experts, it’s time for the public to have their say in determining which video creators will be chosen to participate.

To voice your opinion and have a say in who the next big YouTube stars might be, head on over to You can filter that page by using the “Select a program” drop down menu, showing you either the remaining competitors for the Creator Institute or Next Up.

YouTube Creator Institute:

You can make your own way through the clips, and after watching each one you can vote it up or down by clicking the appropriate thumb. Creator Institute’s eventual winners will:

  • Earn a free YouTube Creator Institute experience at a leading institution.
  • Learn broad new media skills and use unique creator tools.
  • Get promotional opportunities and build global audiences.
  • Engage with world-class faculty, industry leaders, and top YouTube stars.

The winners of this audience vote will go on to the very final round of judging, putting them one step closer to victory and the path to online video success.

Here’s a sample video from one of the finalists seeking your vote:

YouTube Next Up:

Next Up contest winners win a hefty prize indeed, and one that instantly gives them a leg up on their competition: $35,000. Think of the video equipment you could purchase with that kind of cash.

There’s also a 4-day video boot camp in New York City–it actually sounds more like Online Video Fantasy Camp, with current YouTube stars and experts serving as the faculty. Attendees will have all hotel, food, and other amenities paid for by YouTube, and they’ll also receive one-on-one time with an online video mentor.

Here’s a sample of one of the nominated creators seeking your vote to get into the Next Up program:

*Note – the above entry is from our friend and ReelSEO contributor Tim Schmoyer.  Show him some ‘reel’ love and support by voting for him here –


You can vote once a day, now through Friday, April 8, at 5pm Pacific Time. The videos with the most votes (for either program) will then advance onto the final round of judging, with YouTube planning to wrap things up within the next couple weeks.

Most of the nominated videos have very low view counts, and I can only hope this is related to the fact that the call for votes has only just now gone out. It would be a shame if the YouTube community ignored their voting responsibilities here. Other than our viewing habits, we don’t really get a lot of opportunities to influence the kind of videos we see more of on the site, or the kind of people who make them.