In another move to boost content creation, Google's YouTube Website July 9 said it is pumping $5 million into a program to spur the creation of high-quality videos millions of people will want to watch.
YouTube Partner Grants is intended to give promising video producers with little or no budgets a springboard to put out their best clips, which YouTube hopes to advertise against.
YouTube will choose from a pool of about 100 partners for this program based on their production qualifications, video views, subscribers, audience engagement and growth rate.
The chosen video makers will receive an advance, which they can use to buy better video equipment, staff or marketing, against future advertising revenues generated from their clips on YouTube.
YouTube Partner Development Manager George Strompolos said some of YouTube's current 10,000 video partners have made a lot of money by drawing audiences that rival those of network television with their great videos. Yet these video producers still lack the resources to take the next step forward.
"The goal of YouTube Partner Grants is to act as a catalyst by infusing additional funds into the production budgets of a small group of YouTube partners who are at the forefront of innovation," Strompolos said in a blog post.
"We look at this as an investment that will bring an even richer body of content for our users and advertisers and raise the creative bar for online video."
YouTube will invite video makers who meet the YouTube Partner Grants criteria to submit a grant proposal. The team will evaluate proposals based on projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers.
If and when approved for the program, YouTube will pay the partner to get started shooting their next great video for Google's popular site, where most top advertisers currently run campaigns.
This isn't the first time YouTube has offered support for the makers of user-generated content on its vast Website, where 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
The network in June rolled out its YouTube Video Editor, which lets users splice together several videos into one larger video, trim the beginning and end, and add soundtracks from the YouTube AudioSwap library.
YouTube July 9 also pledged support for videos shot at a reference resolution of 4,096 by 3,072.
Known in video production parlance as 4K, this resolution size is geared to accommodate screens of 25 feet or greater. IMAX movies are projected through two 2K resolution projectors.
For perspective on the big video quality leap YouTube has taken here, the company noted that it just launched support for 1080p, or high-definition video that maxes out at 1,096 by 3,072 pixels. 4K is nearly four times the size of 1080p.
Going forward, anyone who wishes to view any video in a source resolution greater than 1080p can select "original" in the pull-down menu for video quality. See the crisp videos in this playlist to get an idea of what the 4K video viewing experience entails.
The YouTube Partner Grants and 4K video support cap a busy week for YouTube, which is riding high in the wake of its major copyright infringement defense against Viacom.
The Website July 7 launched a major upgrade to its mobile application to improve the way its millions of users view videos on their mobile phones.
On July 8, the Website launched YouTube Leanback, which rolls video content in a continuous stream to approximate the TV-viewing experience.
This will be a core user experience for letting users access YouTube from the Google TV offering when it launches this fall.