youtube-creator-instituteIn Early March, YouTube announced two of its latest initiative to foster the development of successful content creators within its own community.

  • YouTube NextUp – the division of the video sharing site established after YouTube’s recent acquisition of new media studio Next New Networks – asked for submissions from YouTube Partners with fewer than 300,000 subscribers interested in joining an exclusive mentoring program and becoming the beneficiaries of a small stimulus package. Selected creators will receive $35,000 in funding, an invitation to a 4-day YouTube Creator Boot Camp in NYC, and hands-on training and promotion from the YouTube crew in order to bring their careers from the level of amateur to professional.
  • The YouTube Creator Institute – a program developed by YouTube NextUp – was conceived to lend guidance and a helping hand to creators “who’ve always wanted to express themselves through video, but may be limited by funding, video-making skills, insufficient tools, or just knowing where to start.” YouTube partnered with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and Columbia Colelge Chicago’s Television Department to develop curriculum and coursework specifically geared towards ensuring the world’s new breed of content creators “thrive online and offline.” Selected video makers will be awarded a free opportunity to become part of the YouTube Creator Institute’s inaugural class.

Now comes the point in both initiatives where the greater YouTube community gets to vote on who should advance to the final judging round. If you want to be a good and fair voter and watch all the submissions that made it thus far, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

186 videos are vying for a spot in the class at the YouTube Creator Institute, and 177 videos are contending for the $35K plus benefits from YouTube NextUp. They range from the familiar and well-produced to not so familiar and in need of better production values. If you see any favorites at this stage in the game, be sure to let us know. But what I’m most looking forward to are the final results.

Comparing videos from content creators before their apprenticeships with YouTube to their video products after will be a great judge of if and how YouTube is able to nurture amateur talent internally. Next New Networks – as an independent, relatively nimble startup – was able to develop moderately popular YouTubers into uber popular internet stars. It’ll be interesting to see if they can replicate their success from the inside of Google’s corporate structure.