YouTube Next New NetworksWell it’s official. Not that it was any real surprise at this point, but YouTube’s parent company Google has officially acquired New York-based online video production studio Next New Networks today for an amount reported to be under $100 million.

As part of the pickup, YouTube is launching a new program called YouTube Next, where Next New Networks’ content and audience development operations will plug into. Effectively, it will replace NNN’s existing Next New Creators program that help elevate rising YouTube partners like The Gregory Brothers (Auto-tune the News), Hot for Words and VendrTV.

Next New’s Vanessa Pappas, who will now be heading up Audience Development for YouTube, added in an email to partners today that, “going forward Next New will be integrated into YouTube and operate under YouTube Next. Excitingly, two newly formed divisions will come out of that, the Next Lab, and Audience Development.”

The key here is building sustainability amongst the web video channels, so that they can continue producing higher and higher quality content. YouTube tells us there are now around 1,000 YouTube partners making over $1,000 a month through the ad share revenue as YouTube partners. The strategy now seems to be how to help those who are just starting to grow their audiences reach a sustainable income stream. Next New Networks, which has its infamous 70-page handbook of how to master the YouTube platform that it shares with its New New Creators, will now be able to offer help from the other side of the curtain.

The official announcement from NNN CEO Fred Seibert today:

Today, we’re very excited to share the news that Next New Networks is now part of YouTube. Our company will become a core component of YouTube Next, a new team that will focus on supercharging content creator development on YouTube, driving deeper expertise in partner audience development, and incubating new ideas that can be shared with the broader community.

Since we launched in March 2007, we’ve had the goal of building an effective platform for developing, packaging and building audiences for original web video programming. To date, that programming has been viewed over 2 billion times and built a following of more than 6 million subscribers. A big part of that growth has been the more than 60 independent producers who have partnered with us as part of the Next New Creators program, including popular YouTube partners such as The Gregory Brothers, Hot for Words, and Nalts, in addition to the ongoing growth of networks like Barely Political (home of Obama Girl and The Key of Awesome), Indy Mogul, ThreadBanger, and Fast Lane Daily.

While our team will continue to work out of our offices here in New York as the YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development Group, I’ll be stepping down from a rewarding stint as the company’s CEO and continue producing cartoons from my company, Frederator Studios. Our popular cartoon network, Channel Frederator, will continue its partnership with YouTube, and I’m looking forward to a close and fruitful relationship with the company personally and professionally. Our current chairman, Lance Podell, will also be joining the YouTube Next team as global head for the group.

Everyone here is very excited to work even more closely with the YouTube team, and looking forward to expanding our mission to provide guidance and support in creative, production, and audience development to all aspiring and current YouTube partners.

Thank you, everyone. It’s been a great beginning.

– Fred Seibert, CEO and Co-Founder

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