There are great new videos being created every day, by great new undiscovered talent. The more education and technology we can put in the hands of amateurs, the more likely the overall pool of video quality is to improve. So YouTube is wise to continually pump both of those things--instruction and resources--into their creators. And now the company has finally announced the lucky video creators who have been chosen as winners of the Next Up contest and Creator Institute programs.
The Next Up prize pack is outrageous, and should easily provide a near-instantaneous boost to the winning creators' resources. Here's what the 25 lucky winners get:
- $35,000 in funding to produce a new project, purchase new tools or advance their overall YouTube careers
- A spot at a four-day YouTube Creator Camp in which they'll benefit from 1:1 mentoring and learn an array of production techniques from leading industry and YouTube experts
- Promotion of their final work and channel
- The opportunity to become better connected with a special community of aspiring and talented content creators from around the world
You can buy an awful lot of top-of-the-line equipment for $35,000.
So maybe you're wondering what kind of channels YouTube was looking for. Here's a video from one of the 25 winners that might give you some idea:
The creator institute, unlike Next Up, was open to all YouTube creators--not just official partner channels. And it's aimed more at education and training than just giving out resources. The program is very small--only 10 slots were open--and features college-level instruction through programs at USC and Columbia University.
The winners were told they would:
- Earn a paid 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.
What kind of creators was YouTube looking for with this first-of-its-kind educational program? Here's a video from one of the 10 filmmakers that earned a spot:
Even though YouTube is rumored to be funding their own professional original video content, and is also rumored to be working on a long-term movie-rental deal with Hollywood studios, the lifeblood of the site is still its amateur creators.
YouTube would be foolish to abandon their more anonymous filmmakers in favor of those who are already-famous... which is exactly why they won't. Amateurs are the sole reason YouTube is the king of online video, and the best of tomorrow's professional content is being created by amateurs today.
The end goal is still the same: improve the overall quality of the content on YouTube (from pros and unknowns) and the viewers will stick around for a long, long time. The longer the viewers hang around, the more ads YouTube can sell, which will allow them to pump even more money back into programs like this... and in YouTube's perfect world, the cycle merely continues to repeat itself from there.