YouTube Launches A New School For Content Creators

Before you know it, college students will be getting their BA in YouTube! YouTube is partnering with Columbia College Chicago and USC on a new program called the YouTube Creator Institute.

Before you know it, college students will be getting their BA in YouTube. That’s right – according to Chicago Breaking Business, YouTube is partnering with Columbia College Chicago and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts on a new program called the YouTube Creator Institute. The YouTube Creator institute is designed for “aspiring content creators” that want to learn how to produce, as well as market, their digital creations.

Wailing Wong of Chicago Breaking Business writes that the program “is accepting applications through March 12 for its inaugural classes at each of the two partner schools. In Chicago, the program will accept 10 students and run between June 1 and July 22.” Find out more on YouTube. And the program isn’t limited to young college students. According to Bing Chen, the Creator Institute Program lead over at YouTube, anyone who is interested in producing professional-level online video content is welcome to apply. It could be middle-aged hobbyists, young professionals, college students or anyone.

The YouTube Blog explains more about the program:

“We’ve worked with some of the world’s leading film and television schools to put together the YouTube Creator Institute. Based both at YouTube and onsite at the campuses of our institutional partners, participants will learn from a unique new media curriculum, apply new media tools, find out how to build their audiences, be promoted globally on the YouTube platform, and engage with industry leaders and experts. Participants will learn everything from story arcing to cinematography, money-making strategies to social media tactics. The wider YouTube community will be able to learn along the way, too, by following the rise of the YouTube Creator Institute’s inaugural class on YouTube this summer.”

Additionally, Chen told Wong that the course would encourage students to “create their own branded channels” on YouTube and that the students would receive “new surprising tools to help get them there”. Considering that until now only partners have been able to have their own branded channels, I’d say that this is a pretty great perk of the course, which will be taught jointly between Columbia and USC faculty offering hands on training and YouTube offering online instruction.

The launch of the YouTube Creator Institute is yet another strong sign that YouTube is ready to start investing more in aspiring creators and talent in order to increase the amount of professional, quality content being uploaded to the site. An increase in this sort of content will lead not only to a better experience from viewers and an increase in traffic, but also in the amount of partners who are monetizing their content. I think this new creator-centered direction is a great way to go. Over the last year YouTube’s partner program has grown to 15,000 partners worldwide and the number of partners that are earning more than $1,000 per month is up 300% since the beginning of 2010 as well. Partners who create quality content are proving themselves to be the life source of the online video site and its great that YouTube has decided to invest further in them.

Of course, the YouTube Creator Institute is only one way that YouTube is investing in their creators. They’ve also recently launched a Partner Grants Program and gave partners $1,000 credits at B&H Photo to help them purchase new equipment. Finally, their recent acquisition of Next New Networks has been a huge indication of their desire to supercharge creator development, growth and success.

I’m excited to see the fruits of this new YouTube Creator Institute. I also think it will be interesting to see if the program will spread beyond Columbia College Chicago and USC. After all, there are surely people in all fifty states (and the rest of the world) who are jumping at the bit to sign up for such a program. And who knows, we may see even more in depth college courses and degrees tied to YouTube and online video in the not so distant future. What do you think about the YouTube Creator Institute? Would you like to sign up for the inaugural session?