Black Web 2.0
YouTube Announces $5 Million Partner Grant Program
Jul 9, 2010 Aug 20, 2013

YouTube has enjoyed great success based on content from it's users. Sure, the technology that lets us watch all these videos is a factor, but the content is what keeps us coming back. There is a relatively small group of content creators on YouTube that produce some seriously high-quality stuff. They have audiences that rival some network television stations and have been able to generate some serious cash flow from their activities on YouTube. This small group has to handle every aspect of their business and sometimes this quality of work is hard to sustain without help. This is where the YouTube Partner Grant Program comes in.
The YouTube ecosystem is vibrant and growing fast. We have over 10,000 partners, and 94 of Ad Age’s top 100 advertisers have run campaigns on YouTube and the Google Display Network. We’ve made great progress in the last five years. But we think we can do better. That’s why today we are announcing the YouTube Partner Grants program that will invest five million dollars across select new and emerging YouTube partners. Our goal is to 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.
A YouTube Partner Grant will augment the production budgets of that small group of YouTube partners who are at the forefront of innovation. The funds will serve as an advance against that partner's future YouTube revenue share. They will be able to keep themselves afloat based on the quality content they have already contributed.

Here’s how it works:

YouTube is identifying eligible partners based on factors such as video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise
Selected partners are contacted by YouTube and invited to submit a Grant proposal
Proposals are evaluated by YouTube based on signals which include projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers
If approved, funds are transferred to the partner so they can get started on their project

This is a really big step for a number of reasons. Google has routinely stayed out of the content creation game and, while this doesn't go directly against that policy, it does place them in a different position on the subject. On another note, there has always been a discussion about content creators being compensated for their work. Not just on YouTube, but elsewhere on the web. This is an excellent example of a service giving back to the community that sustains them.