YES! Youtube Announces Partner Grant Program To Help Finance Web Series

Youtube founders Chad Hurley, left, and Steve Chen

It's official! Youtube is in the web series financing business!

The #3 most visited site in the world (per Alexa ranking) has announced the launch of what it dubbed the Youtube Grant Program, that will pump five million dollars into the production and marketing budgets of a small group of Youtube partners, some of whom are web series creators.

The deal in simpler terms will serve as a loan against the partner's future Youtube revenue share, meaning its an advance that must be repaid from revenue from embedded advertising that Youtube will place in your videos, if you're selected for the program.

Youtube made the groundbreaking announcement on its official blog July 9, 2010.

Check out the full release below:

Investing in the Future of Video: YouTube Announces Partner Grant Program

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.

The idea behind YouTube Partner Grants is fairly simple. We’ve been amazed by the creativity and resourcefulness of many of our partners. Some, operating on shoe string budgets, have been able to produce incredible videos, generate substantial revenues and command an audience that rivals that of network television. This new creative class often manages 360 degrees of their business operations, from the writing filming and producing of their content to the marketing, post-production and distribution of their videos. Despite their success, many partners lack the resources and deep financial backing available to studio-backed production houses. The goal of YouTube Partner Grants is to act as a catalyst by infusing additional funds into the production budgets of a small group of YouTube partners who are at the forefront of innovation. Funds from YouTube Partner Grants will serve as an advance against the partner's future YouTube revenue share. This additional funding can allow partners to invest in better cameras, achieve higher production quality, expand their marketing efforts, expand their staff, or just hire more talent. Anything that will help them evolve their art, business, and ultimately the entire creator community. We look at this as an investment that will bring an even richer body of content for our users and advertisers and raise the creative bar for online video.

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

Youtube Partner Grants represents another step forward in the evolution of both video and YouTube. Our hope is that through these investments we’ll help nurture talent and bring more great videos to YouTube for all of you to enjoy.


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Comment by Rich Mbariket on July 11, 2010 at 8:50pm
Comment by BlackBookBerry on July 11, 2010 at 8:26pm
So you filled out your application after you were invited to join? That's interesting. I've never had an invitation.
Comment by Rich Mbariket on July 11, 2010 at 8:16pm
I have a total of only 72 subscribers but I have over 90 videos. Not sure what they're looking for really or what would trigger an invitation.
Comment by Rich Mbariket on July 11, 2010 at 8:14pm
I'm not saying they're not looking at your current application. My answer was based on your question regarding the last two applications/rejections you said you received. My application to join the program has been pending four months. Two months is nothing. What I know is you have to be invited to apply to join, I don't know anything else about the program beyond that.
Comment by BlackBookBerry on July 11, 2010 at 8:07pm
When I go to this link ( and click on Qualifications & FAQ | Apply Now, it tells me that I have an application currently being processed. It gives me a button where i can review my application. it's been like this for 2 months.

So are you telling me that no one is looking at that? I've read that they are expanding their reach by inviting people to be partners for specific videos, but not their channel by invitation only. Nothing about invitation only for partners.
Comment by Rich Mbariket on July 11, 2010 at 8:04pm
Sadly, no. You would have to be invited to "apply" to join the partner program which isn't even a guarantee you'll be accepted. Youtube invited me in March to apply for the program. My application is still pending. Go figure. My suggestion is to wait until you get an invitation. There's really no other way around it.
Comment by BlackBookBerry on July 11, 2010 at 7:57pm
So the last two applications and rejections I received aren't really being considered?
Comment by Rich Mbariket on July 11, 2010 at 7:49pm
Black, applying for the Youtube Partner Program is by invitation only.
Comment by BlackBookBerry on July 11, 2010 at 7:40pm
It's taken us 2 seasons on YouTube to finally get the marketing legs we need to grow our subscribership to over 1600. We are still not partners on YouTube so I guess that means we're out. Does anyone know someone at YouTube to help us push our submission for Partnership through?
Comment by Rich Mbariket on July 10, 2010 at 6:57pm
Maybe this will motivate web series creators to put focus into marketing and building Youtube subscribers. Should serve as a wake up call that there's more to making web series than the production aspect.

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