YouTube has announced the next class of creators to go through its YouTube Next program, this time focusing on vloggers. The video site originally announced the initiative about six weeks ago, and today it is announcing the 16 vloggers who will get some cash and advice to take their videos to the next level.
While YouTube is, on the one hand, investing millions in creating professionally produced content from the likes of Tony Hawk and others, it’s also trying to help amateur and semi-professional creators further develop their own skills. That’s the idea behind the YouTube Next program, which the company introduced last spring.
YouTube Next is all about investing in independent producers and giving them the tools and resources they need to step up their game and try to become the next big thing. Before the Next Vloggers, YouTube had previously run Next Chef and Next Trainer programs, for creators that specialized in cooking and health and fitness fields. But YouTube has benefited heavily from video personalities like iJustine and Phil DeFranco, so it’s no big surprise that vloggers would eventually become the next area of focus for the program.
YouTube’s 16 Next Vloggers are:
Those 16 already have more than 125 million views between them, which means they’re already doing pretty well on their own. YouTube chose them from thousands of applications that came in — apparently it received more entries for Next Vlogger than any previous Next Creator program that they’ve run.
So what do the chosen 16 actually get? A little bit of mentorship, a little bit of cash and a little bit of promotion. iJustine and CommunityChannel‘s Natalie Tran are among the mentors who will help the vloggers improve their video production and promotion over a three-month period. Chosen creators will also get $5,000 worth of equipment and $10,000 in promotion on and off YouTube.
Of course, that’s all a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions that it’s spending through its new Channels initiative. At the same time, putting a little bit of money into the Next program is kind of like YouTube’s way of seed funding the next group of YouTube stars. There might only be a few that break out, but those who do could more than make up for those who don’t.