NBCUniversal is the first major media company to team up with YouTube on its NextUp training program for up-and-coming creators, in a week-long session to be held in late May at YouTube Space New York.
Under the program, several NBCU creative executives will coach a select group of YouTubers on best practices for developing breakout content, with the goal of attracting bigger, more engaged audiences. YouTube’s NextUp educational program is free to qualifying creators. No money is changing hands under the agreement. For NBCU, the aim seems to be to foster goodwill among digital creators (and with YouTube itself) as well as promote its programming brands.
“We’re excited to deepen our partnership with YouTube and help expand this unique program to create further educational opportunities for the many talented digital content creators around the U.S.,” Karena Wells, NBCUniversal’s senior VP of corporate partnerships and investments, said in a statement.
Separately, Google is currently grappling with advertisers pulling out of YouTube over concerns about hate speech, with AT&T and Verizon among the latest to freeze spending. The NBCU-YouTube NextUp deal is unrelated to any advertising arrangements between the two companies.
YouTube and NBCU are still developing the specific curriculum and haven’t yet identified which execs will participate. “The focus for us is the collaborative process — we want to bring in [NBCU] writers and creative execs to talk about how they make content, and develop and nurture ideas,” said Liam Collins, director of YouTube Spaces in the Americas.
The NextUp program with NBCU is open to creators in the U.S. and Canada. Collins said 20 YouTube channel creators will be invited to participate. To qualify, a channel must have 10,000-100,000 subscribers; must be a YouTube partner with an account in good standing; and must have uploaded at least three videos to their channel in the last 90 days.
“This is for creators at this inflection point,” Collins said of the 100,000-subscriber cutoff. “It’s a real signal for us that they have the potential to catalyze their subscriber bases.”
YouTube’s NextUp programs, which date back to 2011, occur several times per year at YouTube Spaces around the world. In the week-long camps, participating creators can learn production techniques and channel-development strategies. Past YouTube creators who have participated in NextUp include Ingrid Nilsen (who has nearly 4 million subscribers now), AsapSCIENCE (with 6.3 million subs) and Marcus Butler (4.6 million).
Applications for the NextUp program at YouTube Space NY featuring NBCU’s execs are being accepted at youtube.com/nextup through April 15 at 8 p.m. EDT.
Collins said YouTube may look at partnering with other media companies for other NextUp sessions elsewhere after it tests out the idea in New York. “We like to keep the program fresh and try new things,” he said.
Pictured above: A recent NextUp camp at YouTube Space New York in Manhattan’s Chelsea district.