YouTube announced last summer that it would launch a $100 million multi-year fund to help Black creators and artists tell their stories. More specifically, the fund has supported programs such as 2 Chainz’ “Money Maker Fund” series highlighting HBCU entrepreneurs and Masego’s “Studying Abroad” livestreamed concert series.
Today, the platform uses capital for this effort. createA global grant program for Black creators
“The painful events of this year have reminded us of the importance of human connection and the need to continue to strengthen human rights around the world. In the midst of uncertainty, creators continue to share stories that might not otherwise be heard while also building online communities,” YouTube CEO Susan WojcickiI wrote in a blog postReflecting on 2020 and describing the decision
The 2021 #YouTubeBlack Voices Class
Per BillboardThe program’s inaugural class includes 132 people, including musicians and lifestyle vloggers like Kelly Stamps and Jabril Ahe, also known by Jabrils. They share educational videos about the new gaming, technology and AI spaces.
The musicians included in the group are Brent Faiyaz. BRS Kash. Fireboy DML. Jean Dawson. Jensen McRae. Jerome Farah. Joy Oladokun. KennyHoopla. Mariah, the Scientist. MC Carol. Miiesha. Myke Towers. Péricles. Rael. Rexx Life Raj. Sauti Sol. serpentwithfeet. Sho Madjozi. Tkay Maidza. Urias Yung Baby Tate.
Each grant recipient will be given an undisclosed amount to support their channels. It can be used to cover needs such editing, lighting, or any other equipment that will enhance and enhance the quality and impact of their content. YouTube will also offer additional resources, such as workshops, training, and networking opportunities to increase skills and foster collaborations. “We are not only supporting them in the moment, but this is seed funding that will help them to thrive on the platform long-term,” he added.
The cohort is comprised of people from the United States and several other countries, including Brazil, South Africa, South Africa, South Africa, South Africa, South Africa, South Africa, and Nigeria. It was selected partly because of their past participation in #YouTubeBlack which is a campaign series that promotes Black creators. It was launched in 2016 and has since been viewed by over 500,000 people.
Future for Change: Paving the way
“These creators and artists have been doing this work already and are known by their communities, but we’re really excited to invest in them, and we believe that they can and will become household names with this support, shared Malik DucardYouTube Vice President of Partners for the #YouTubeBlack Community
In today’s landscape, influencers are themselves a media channel. The budgets put against them shouldn’t just be production-driven but rather emphasize a broader commitment to diverse and authentic stories driven by co-communication and co-creation. YouTube finds this not only beneficial for ensuring that these creators are heard but also allows the platform to remain true to its values and commitment to its community.
“This is not a flash-in-the pan Instagram moment. This is about keeping the drum beat of change alive, and in the DNA of our organization,” added Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s Global Head of Music, reiterating the confidence in the ability of this group to lead and find long-term success through raw passion, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit. “Our expectation is that these artists are going to be significant and important voices and make music even more enjoyable.”
Future collaborations between brand-artists
For brands partnering with music artists – the takeaway here is that social listening requires responsiveness, flexibility, and mindfulness when it comes to integrating culture. People want to hear their voices and not be sold to. This means that efforts should be extended offline. This is only achieved through a full understanding of a new age of partnerships – one where brands have a bigger role to play in artist’s lives and artists are crossing the threshold to become true digital marketers monetizing the whole self.
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