YouTube Launches $20 Million Fund as Part of ‘Learning’ Initiative


YouTube Launches $20 Million Fund as Part of ‘Learning’ Initiative

By Tina Nazerian     Oct 23, 2018

YouTube Launches $20 Million Fund as Part of ‘Learning’ Initiative

Ever turn to YouTube to learn “how to” do something? You’re hardly alone. Last year, videos with those two words in the title amassed over a billion hours of viewing time, according to a YouTube spokesperson.

That data point suggests a hunger for informational videos—which the company wants to feed. On Monday, YouTube offered details around a new $20 million fund that is part of YouTube Learning, an initiative announced by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki this summer, to invest in educational videos.

“When you look around the globe, learning content is succeeding in every single market,” the spokesperson claims. He points to Germany, where last week, a learning channel called “In a Nutshell” became the country’s most subscribed-to channel.

With this investment, the company says it is being mindful to ensure that it is supporting credible sources of information in its learning channels. Part of that $20 million is going toward the launch of a new channel where established brands including Goodwill and YearUp will curate playlists showcasing videos that teach career skills. Online learning platforms such as edX and OpenClassrooms will make some of their most popular courses available on YouTube.

The rest of the $20 million will be earmarked to support “edutubers,” the term the company calls creators on the platform who make educational videos. Candidates aren’t restricted by region, language or topic, but to be eligible, their ideas must “serve the vision and the mission of making YouTube the best place to educate and learn,” and they must have at least 25,000 subscribers. Those interested in applying can fill out this form to learn more.

The spokesperson notes that the ideal candidates will probably be those who already have a record of creating educational videos on the platform. Some big-name channels, such as TED-Ed and Hank and John Green’s Crash Course, have already gotten some of the funds, but the spokesperson declined to share how much of the $20 million remains, and how the rest of it will be allocated.

“We want to empower the edutuber community to come to us with proposals, and then agree upon a way that we can financially support those proposals and those creators,” the spokesperson says.

Another portion of the funds will go towards providing other resources and events where “edutubers” can hone their video-creation craft, and share ideas with one another. These include a beginner’s guide and a course for aspiring creators who are just getting started on how to make compelling learning content. There’s also here’s NextUp, a week-long camp where emerging creators can learn how to take their content to the next level. Then there are EduCon conferences, organized by YouTube across the world, which brings together established creators to share ideas. These conferences have already been held in California, Mexico and Brazil, and the company is bringing them to India in December and the UK in February 2019.

The $20 million is the “beginning of a long term investment” the company is making in education, according to the spokesperson. “This is the first step to really show our support for the community of edutubers that has been so important to YouTube.”

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