YouTube has over 51 million YouTube channels. Who owns these channels? That can be anybody since the platform is free to use. As long as you have a way to make a video and an internet connection, you can be one of them.
The platform has found so much success, thanks to its very nature. YouTube focuses on videos, the most popular type of content. But it would also not be that successful if not for the content creators on the platform. Without the content creators, there would be nothing to watch on YouTube; YouTube would be nothing.
That’s why YouTube needs to keep its content creators satisfied. And the platform does that. However, one can say that YouTube is not doing a perfect job since creators have several complaints. Nevertheless, one can’t ignore YouTube’s efforts to support its content creators.
The platform is known for its monetization program. It allows content creators to make a living by making videos. In fact, YouTubing is now one of the most lucrative careers, with the top earners able to make millions a month.
But that’s not all. YouTube has several other programs that aim to put certain content creators in the spotlight. For instance, the “United States of YouTube” features creators and small businesses from different states in the US. Then, there’s the “#YouTubeBlack Voices Fund,” which empowers Black content creators on the platform.
What Is The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund
YouTube started the Black Voices Fund two years ago. The platform said it is a “multi-year commitment dedicated to spotlighting and growing Black content creators on the platform.” The program gives them access to resources they can use to grow their channels.
The program has welcomed 300 grantees since its inception. That includes people from the United States, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. These people do different things on YouTube. There are activists, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, gamers, musicians, parents, personal trainers, photographers, poets, and more.
YouTube Black Voices Fund grantees receive dedicated support from a YouTube Partner Manager. It will help them optimize and grow their channels. On top of that, they will have access to exclusive sessions focused on production, community engagement, and well-being. Moreover, they also gain access to training, workshops, and networking opportunities throughout the year.
But that’s not all! It will not be called Black Voices “Fund” if there’s no funding. Qualified content creators receive a grant they can use to amplify their channels.
It is, without a doubt, one of the best programs on YouTube. First of all, the Black Community is one of the marginalized communities out there. And research points out that they, specifically Black people in creative sectors, have trouble gaining government-allocated support.
Furthermore, this community needs help now more than ever because of the pandemic. The global health crisis affected those who received government support so much. So, how bad is it for people like them that do not have that? Thankfully, they have this support from YouTube.
Five New Projects
Deadline reports that YouTube has announced five new projects under the Black Voices Fund.
The first project is called “Recipe for Change: Amplifying Black Women.” It will be featuring Mary J. Blige, Saweetie, Tabitha Brown, and Jackie Aina. These Black women will gather around the dinner table and “celebrate the stories, traditions, identities, and experiences of Black women.”
“Tech: Future Tech with Marques Brownlee” is the second project. It will explore emerging technologies and how they will impact underrepresented communities such as the Black community.
Another project is called “A New Green Book,” featuring Terell Grice. The original Green Book is a travel guide for Black people in the segregation era. It tells them which places are welcoming. According to the teaser Terell posted on his channel, the New Green Book reimagines that. It takes the travel elements of the original Green Book. But instead of listing the welcoming places, it will ” look at historic Black Los Angeles and celebrate the African diaspora in all its rich and diverse beauty.”
YouTube also celebrates the legacy of Nelson Mandela through the fourth project, “The Mandela Project.” And last, “Spectrum Global: Being Black In…” is a re-imagination of a popular Jubilee video series. It will delve into Blackness across the globe.
YouTube says that Black creators have played a significant role in shaping the culture on YouTube. They helped propel the platform forward. So, it’s only right that YouTube returns the favor.
Nadine Zylstra, Global Head of YouTube Originals, explains the importance of the five new projects they announced. They continue “YouTube’s long-standing commitment to celebrating diverse perspectives on its platform.” She adds that the said projects will underscore important stories and raise important voices. That’s not only to entertain the audience but also to cause meaningful change. It is a move to combat racism.
How To Qualify
As of this writing, the application for the Black Voices Fund 2023 is almost over. But don’t worry. It is a “multi-year commitment,” as said above. That said, they will open applications for the 2024 batch next year and then reopen it again the year after that. That will continue until YouTube decides to discontinue the program.
Eligibility requirements are not that strict. You have to identify as Black. If you’re looking to apply to this, you probably are. So, that’s not a problem. However, you must be a member of the YouTube Partner Program.
Meaning you have to have a certain amount of watch time and subscribers on your channel to quality.
Lastly, you must be hailing from any of YouTube’s eligible markets. That includes the United States, Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.
If all of that is true for you, YouTube says it loves for you to apply. And you should try it. It will help you grow your channel, and at the same time, you get to participate in a project that aims to end racism. That’s a double whammy.