YouTube has rolled out a new rewards program for its most popular video partners, the company announced today.
Channel partners that have over a million subscribers are getting a shiny new plaque/trophy frame containing (what I’m assuming is) a genuine gold “Play” button as a sign of accomplishment. About 80 partners are getting the plaque, including EpicMealTime, Ellen DeGeneres, The Lonely Island, Mondo Media, Machinima, VEVO, and a handful of individual music artists. The site is also sending any YouTube partner with over 100,000 channel subscriptions a $500 gift card and a camera case. YouTube says about 1,400 channels reached this criteria.
For the big fish channel partners, $500 isn’t much of anything, since most of them make enough money from YouTube and other distribution deals to count their content creation as a primary job. But for the smaller channel partners, a $500 gift card — if put back into the production business — has the potential really improve the quality of content.
And that’s part of YouTube’s current strategy for boosting the amount of premium original videos available on its site. YouTube’s parent company Google committed $100 million on channel partnerships back in October 2011 to ensure that this strategy succeeds. More recently, the site committed to spending another $200 million on promoting those channel partners as well as their content. Another way YouTube is attempting to upgrade its quality is through partnerships with pre-existing media organizations, such as Reuters, Ridley Scott, and Bleacher Report.
Perhaps more interesting than the rewards program was the viewership statistics YouTube released. The total number of subscriptions from all YouTube partner channels is more than 500 million, which brings in and 251 billion monthly views. That’s 36 views for every person on the planet, according to the site.
Images via YouTube