2010 was a big year for content creators on YouTube. Our Partner Program grew to over 15,000 partners worldwide; presidential parodies and clever online-only ads became viral sensations; “annoying” but lovable fruits and unassuming Alabamans transformed uncomfortable situations into triumphant social memes. What became clearer than ever was the YouTube community’s ability to constantly bring new entertainment and experiences into the mainstream. And, many of our partners were making enough money doing what they love to buy a new house, or even make a career out of their videos. In fact, the number of partners making over $1,000 a month is up 300% since the beginning of 2010 and we now have hundreds of partners making six figures a year. But frankly, “hundreds” making a living on YouTube isn’t enough and in 2011 we know we can and should do more to help our partners grow.

Today, we are happy to announce a significant increase in our commitment to our aspiring and successful creators on YouTube.
  • YouTube Next. YouTube Next is a new team tasked with supercharging creator development and accelerating partner growth and success. The team will also spearhead a series of YouTube Next-branded programs and services that will build off past partner development initiatives such as the Partner Grants Program that advanced partners funds based on future YouTube revenue share and the recent $1,000 credits at B&H Photo given to partners to purchase new camera equipment. The YouTube Next team and programs will expand our partner meet-ups and community events, increase investment in partner education and training and launch new capabilities in audience development.
  • Next New Networks. We are extremely excited to announce the acquisition of Next New Networks. Since launching in March 2007, the Next New Networks team has built a highly effective platform for developing, packaging and building audiences around original web video programming, attracting over 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers across their partner networks of channels and shows. Within YouTube, Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation with the team working in a hands on way with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube. We are thrilled with the new capability the team brings and the positive impact it will have making our YouTube partners more successful.
At YouTube, we’re focused on building a great technology platform for creators, and so we leave the actual creation of great videos to the people who do it best: our partners. This new group and the addition of the Next New Networks team doesn’t change that. But being a great platform for creators also means helping our partners get the tools and guidance they need to develop higher quality videos and drive bigger audiences to their work.

2011 promises to be an exciting year for the online video industry. We look forward to announcing more YouTube Next initiatives throughout the year, chronicling the impact on partners and highlighting the results on this blog for everyone to enjoy.

Tom Pickett, Director of Global Content Operations and YouTube Next, recently watched “GoPro HD: Human Flight - World Base Race 2010 with Neil Amonson.”