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To our incredible YouTube community,

When we started out in 2005, we focused on rapidly increasing user engagement. We wanted an inventive way to draw people in and catalyze their creativity. The result? A contest for the best video on our site.

Nearly eight years later, with 72 hours of video being uploaded every minute, we finally have enough content to close the competition. We’ve started the process to select a winner and as of tomorrow at midnight, we will be closing the site to submissions.

Watch the video below to hear from our leadership, the minds behind some of our most famous entries, and the panel of judges who will select our nominees, and ultimately, the winner for "Best Video."



And be sure to tune in for Day 1 of our live ceremony from 9 a.m. PT, April 1, when we will begin announcing the “Best Video” nominees. This announcement will resume for 12 hours every day for the next two years.

Thank you for sharing your creativity, irreverence, ideas and knowledge with us and with viewers around the world.

Tim Liston, Competition Director, recently watched “Charlie bit my finger- again!”

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Congratulations to Colleen Ballinger of PsychoSoprano, our featured “On The Rise” partner this March. You can find her videos featured on our YouTube channel today, along with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

Hailing from Southern California, Colleen has spent several years growing her YouTube audience and is a successful comedienne. She guarantees that you’ll enjoy a lot of laughs on PsychoSoprano, where she uploads vlogs, skits, character sketches, and “a lot of awkwardness” across two weekly shows. You can tune in for random fun videos every Friday; or, if you have a question for Colleen, you can submit it and check out her Tuesday show, ‘Colleen’s Corner,’ where she takes the time to interact and talk with her audience. In addition to PsychoSoprano, Colleen runs the mirandasings08 channel where she hosts her music content - she’s a professional singer who tours and teaches as well.



Here are a few words from Colleen:
Thank you so much for all of your votes... I am so excited to have been chosen! I try my hardest to keep my subscribers entertained with comedic skits, crazy characters, fun vlogs, singing, and a lot of awkwardness twice a week. I love building relationships with my viewers and want them to feel like my friends and not just my audience so no topics are off limits. You never know what you're gonna find on my channel, but I guarantee you'll smile a lot. :) Thanks again for voting for me! It means more than you know!
If you’ve enjoyed this monthly On The Rise blog series, and want to see more rising YouTube partners, check out our Google Hangouts with past featured partners on the YouTube Creators channel.

You can participate and help us surface YouTube talent by nominating a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program. Feel free to submit nominations for your own channel, or for channels you follow that you think deserve more attention or could be the next YouTube sensation. We’ll continue to feature promising partners who produce engaging content on a regular basis. See you next month!

Christine Wang and Devon Storbeck, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “Solving three cubes while juggling them.”

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In the last eight years you’ve come to YouTube to watch, share and fall in love with videos from all over the world. Tens of thousands of partners have created channels that have found and built businesses for passionate, engaged audiences. Advertisers have taken notice: all of the Ad Age Top 100 brands are now running campaigns on YouTube. And today, we’re announcing a new milestone: YouTube now has more than a billion unique users every single month.

What does a billion people tuning into YouTube look like?
  • Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube.
  • Our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences.
  • If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India.
  • PSY and Madonna would have to repeat their Madison Square Garden performance in front of a packed house 200,000 more times. That’s a lot of Gangnam Style!
From the aspiring filmmaker in his basement and the next great pop musician, to the fans all around the world who tune in, subscribe and share their favorite videos with the planet, thank you for making YouTube what it is today. You have truly created something special.

The YouTube Team

P.S.: To learn more about what’s powering this growth, check out our blog post about Gen C and mobile devices.

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Whether you prefer your humor extra dry or love watching the next big talents rise to stardom, two of the biggest names in entertainment are bringing their star power to YouTube.

The You Generation

Simon Cowell, the mastermind (and trademark take-no-prisoners judge) behind hit shows like “The X-Factor” and “American Idol,” is launching a global talent contest. Through 26 different talent competitions over the year, The You Generation will uncover YouTube’s rising stars, whatever their skills.

 

The Ricky Gervais YouTube Channel

Whether you’re a devout fan of David Brent or can’t get enough of Michael Scott, “The Office,” otherwise known as Ricky Gervais’ brainchild, has permeated pop culture on both sides of the pond. In case you’re wondering where this classic character’s been over the past decade, David’s back--this time, on YouTube, alongside brand new personalities, sketches and comedy creations via his existing YouTube channel.

To make sure you don’t miss a laugh or an introduction to the next generation of stars, click the “Subscribe” button when visiting each channel.

Ben McOwen Wilson, Content Partnerships Director, recently watched “What Can You Do?” and “Equality Street.”

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In our monthly On The Rise program, we identify four partners whose channels are seeing significant growth but haven’t yet reached the 100,000 subscriber mark. Your suggestions helped us identify four dedicated partners who are well over halfway to that milestone, and you get the opportunity to help them grow even further. This March, our On The Rise nominees have established themselves and built loyal fan bases who support their music, video effects, comedy, vlogs, and group sketches.

Here’s where you come in--you actually have the chance to help push these partners even further on YouTube. Review their videos below, vote for your favorite here, and one of these candidates will have the opportunity to be featured across YouTube later this month. In addition to your votes, each channel will be evaluated on criteria such as viewer engagement and channel optimization techniques to decide which partner we’ll feature.

In past months, featured On The Rise partners like DevinandErica and MyCupcakeAddiction have gained many subscribers and seen their careers take off, in large part due to your support. This month’s poll will be open until March 19, 5 p.m. PT, so don’t forget to vote for your favorite channel. Check back to see which channel will be featured on March 27.

thefumusic
Jacob and Josh Fu have been playing together since birth, and as adults have taken their music to YouTube. In their videos, the brothers combine musical talent (including covers and “furiginals”) with a passion for creativity and special effects.



psychosoprano
Colleen is the woman behind the YouTube character, Miranda Sings. Her psychosoprano channel features a combination of vlogs and comedy sketches made with her friends and family. She has also performed in a couple theatres around the world, but you can check out some of her work on her channel.


Trickniks
Nikki Limo is an actress and comedienne by profession, and you might catch her stand-up if you go to a Los Angeles comedy club. On YouTube, Nikki creates comic vlogs, collaborations, and answers her fans’ questions in her Q&As.



petergilroy
Peter formed a sketch comedy group with his friends Tyler, Jacob, Scott, Kurt, Brock, Josh, Roger and Alex and have named themselves “The Bath Boys.” The channel hosts everything from short films to music videos so go take a look.



If you’re interested in participating or have suggestions for partners you think should be featured, you can nominate a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program. You can also check out some of our Google Hangouts with past featured partners on the Partner Support channel.

Devon Storbeck and Christine Wang, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “MinuteEarth: The Story of Our Planet.”

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Occasionally, we invite special guests to share their thoughts on the YouTube Blog. Today, Sesame Street became the first nonprofit to reach 1 billion channel views on YouTube. In honor of that achievement, we bring you a guest post from the Count Von Count about the number zero.

Greetings, it is I, the Count Von Count from Sesame Street. It is a pleasure to be blogging to you today because when I blog I get to count the words. That is 31, 31 wonderful words in my blog post, ah-ha-ha.

Today I want to pay tribute to one of my favorite numbers. What number is it? I am glad you asked. Today I pay tribute to the number zero. A surprising number, I know. For when you have zero there is nothing to count. So why do I, a person who loves to count, love the number zero?

Well, for one thing, zero comes in very handy when there is nothing around to count. For you can count zero of that thing. Like right now, as I look around the castle, I count zero elephants, zero airplanes, and zero Justin Bieber CDs. Wonderful.

But that is not the only reason to love zero. For you see zero can make a little number much bigger. How? Like so—say you have a little number 1, a very nice number indeed. But, when you take that one and put a zero next to it, all of a sudden you have 10, 10 wonderful things to count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ten little fingers on your hands. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ten little toes on your feet. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – ten little hot dogs in the meat drawer of my refrigerator. Oh! I love counting to ten.

But that is not all that zero can do. Take that 10 and put another zero on the end, and suddenly you have 100. 100 is a glorious number to count. I can count 100 seats in a movie theater; I count 100 golf balls at the golf course. I count 100 senators in the U.S. Senate. I love counting to 100!

Now what if you take that 100 and place another glorious zero beside it? Then all of a sudden you have 1,000. 1,000 is an extraordinary number to count. You can count 1,000 seashells on the seashore, 1,000 paperclips in Bert’s paperclip collection, 1,000 hairs growing out of your uncle’s ear. I love counting to 1,000!

Let’s not stop there! Let’s add three zeros to that 1,000 and all of a sudden we have 1,000,000 things to count. Have you ever counted to 1 million? I did. When I worked for the census bureau in Rhode Island. You should try it one time, or every four years, your choice.

Now take that 1,000,000 and add three more wonderful zeroes and what do you get? I’ll tell you: you get a number so big, so great, and so huge! When you have nine zeroes after a 1 you get the number 1,000,000,000. Yes 1 billion things to count! And it is all thanks to that lovely number zero. Thank you, zero, you make counting a billion times more fun. By the way, that is 510 words, 512, 513, 514 … 515 words in my YouTube blog post! Ah-ha-ha!




Count Von Count recently watched "Sesame Street: Pinball #12 New"

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Awards season is upon us. And for the fourth year, YouTube is teaming up with See3 Communications to present the DoGooder Video Awards, a celebration of the best nonprofit videos of the year. If you’re a nonprofit who made a video in 2012, you’re eligible and encouraged to submit your video.

But wait, there’s more! For the first time ever, we’re opening up the awards for submissions from individuals who are making videos to change their communities or the world. So if you’re a YouTube creator trying to save the whales one video at a time, or if you made a video on behalf of your favorite nonprofit this year, visit YouTube.com/DoGooder to nominate your video.

There are four separate categories in this year’s DoGooder Awards: the ImpactX Award for videos that drove clear real-world impact; Best Nonprofit Video; Funny for Good, recognizing effective use of comedy; and the Change Agent Award, for individuals who’ve gotten involved and produced their own cause-focused video.

We’ll award prizes like $3,500 grants, free admission to the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and special promotion on YouTube.

 

The deadline to enter is March 22, 2013. Official rules are available here.

Jessica Mason, YouTube for Good, recently watched “YouTubers Support Matt Damon's Strike!”