YouTube's videos still have amateur content and production quality; most professionally produced videos land on competitors' sites such as Hulu.com, drawing away potential viewers and advertising revenue.
Hoping to change this, YouTube recently announced a $5 million Partner Grants Program, which will give emerging, talented, but non-affluent filmmakers a few thousand dollars—or a few hundred thousand—to back their projects. Through this program, YouTube hopes to attract more professional content to its site—along with larger audiences and mainstream advertisers.
Ok, so that sounds too good to be true. But, if it does happen that would be a very cool revinue source for independent film makers globally. But look out! Here comes the realist!
Holahan of Businessweek.com states in her article here that there are some serious problems with this business model. For starters, reviewing the massive amount of crappy content to make sure it's not sexually explict, stolen, or otherwise bad/evil would cost a ton.
The potential for such legal claims, coupled with the difficulty of screening so many videos, could make paying creators more trouble than its worth, says Thomas McInerney, a co-founder and former CEO of video site Guba. "I think this is somewhat of a me-too move for YouTube, and I don't think they necessarily need to do it," says McInerney. After all, he adds, they don't need to attract additional traffic—they are one of the most visited sites on the Web as it is. And they don't have a problem attracting content. "People upload content to YouTube because there is an ego in broadcasting yourself," McInerney says. "People like the attention."
I'm no market annalist, nor do I have a firm grasp on how these companies are run, but to me it seems like a flash-in-the-pan-idea. Kinda like a guy who announced 'Drinks on me!' only to realize he left his money at home; this idea will quietly make its way out a back door.
I emailed Alissa Wilkinson of World magazine and asked if she could link me up with her sources from her article (above). She hit me back with three very credible sources the next day. So from the horses mouth youtubes blog posts the rules for getting in on the fundage:
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
Link to the blog post here.