On The Rise is a monthly YouTube competition designed to help deserving young channels get a much-needed push into the spotlight.  Each month, the company nominates a handful of channels, and then lets the YouTube community at large vote to determine the winner.  The winner receives promotion from YouTube, and the resulting subscriber impact can be huge.

In announcing this month’s On The Rise finalists, YouTube also dropped a nugget of very interesting information:  the winners of the two previous competitions have seen their rate of subscription double as a result of winning. Specifically, they each had twice as many new subscribers during their month in the On The Rise spotlight as they had in the month prior to winning.  And remember, you don’t even get to be a finalist without already having a high rate of subscription, so doubling it is even more impressive.

Winners receive special attention on the YouTube home page, and the site’s main Videos page, and also get shout outs on Twitter and Facebook.  Not surprisingly, it seems that viewers are willing to take such suggestions and check out the videos from the winning channel.  And YouTube must be doing a good job in choosing the finalists, because audiences are enjoying the winning videos enough to subscribe to the channel.  All in all… I’d say this On The Rise experiment is working exactly as it’s intended to.

This month’s finalists include:

  • Michael Aranda – a multi-faceted performer who uses humor, art, and education.
  • Luke Conard – Luke makes silly music videos for pop songs he writes with his friends.
  • Tori Kelly – an aspiring singer and songwriter.
  • Josh Sundquist – a cancer survivor and motivational speaker.

They’re all pretty popular channels–otherwise they wouldn’t be finalists for On The Rise.  It’s fairly easy to see the appeal with each, and why they’ve begun building an audience.  I’m partial to Sundquist.  While his background is truly compelling, it’s the content of his animated book chapters that really grabbed me.  Narrating his own writing, the author then also illustrates what we’re hearing in a simple but charming style.

Take a look:

It may not be easy to become a finalist for the monthly On The Rise, since YouTube picks them by hand.  But the benefits are impossible to deny.  There’s not a YouTube channel around that wouldn’t be interested in doubling their rate of subscription.  Heck, emilynoel83, the first On The Rise winner, is just 2,500 subscribers short of 100,000–that means that just two months after winning On The Rise, she’s gotten so many subscribers that she’d be deemed too popular for the contest today (channels with 100,000 subscribers are not eligible).  Now that’s a fine trajectory to be on, wouldn’t you say?

Check out this month’s finalists and vote for your favorite over on the YouTube blog.