The good news for content creators in Hollywood and elsewhere trying to make it on the Internet: YouTube, the video sharing site owned by Google, said today that it has just launched a new program which will invest five million dollars for new content partners. According to site, its new YouTube Partner Grants program will invest in new and emerging YouTube partners for those partners to invest into their product budgets. The site said it will select partners based on video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise, and a format grant proposal to the site including projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers. YouTube said the grants will be a "catalyst" to help those partners invest in better cameras, achieve higher production quality, expand their marketing efforts, expand their staff, or hire more talent.
Releasing small projects on YouTube has become standard practice for emerging talent and producers in Hollywood. Usually, those producers have mainly sought to make their work more available to traditional entertainment executives, but often have resulted in the creation of Internet-era hits. Among the earliest of those was lonelygirl15, a YouTube sensation which launched online production firm EQAL.