YouTube March 7 acquired video production company Next New Networks and launched YouTube Next, a unit within the Google company geared to accelerate video creation and monetization.
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.
The Next New Networks buy, which had been rumored since December, will provide YouTube with the expertise needed to help its content partners shoot and package video content. This is a task the Next New team has proved suited for after garnering over 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers across their video partner networks since 2007.
YouTube's partner program, which grew to more than 15,000 members in 2010, showcases creators' content in exchange for pairing videos with display ads next to their videos. The program marks a departure from videos fashioned by amateurs as YouTube seeks to compete with Hulu, Netflix and other providers of Web video.
Tom Pickett, director of Global Content Operations and YouTube Next, said that while hundreds of the 15,000 YouTube content partners are making six figures a year, hundreds making a living on YouTube isn't enough.
YouTube Next will help expand YouTube's partner program and, ideally, help those video creators make more money.
"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," said Pickett in a blog post.
YouTube Next-branded programs will build off past partner development initiatives such as the Partner Grants Program that advanced partners' funds based on future YouTube revenue share.
The YouTube Next team will also boost partner meet-ups and community events, partner education and training, and launch new capabilities in audience development
Google is betting big on YouTube, which leads the search engine's display ad offerings. YouTube helped Google's display ads to a $2.5 billion run-rate in 2010.