YouTube is opening up the NextUp competition to official YouTube partners in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom for them to create a pilot project that demonstrates the best of their creative and storytelling abilities. Judges will deliberate and select the 25 winners from these nations.
The contest will run until September 23 and is YouTube’s way of searching for the most talented European partners for even more stellar opportunities. Winners will get an all-expenses-paid trip to London, cash for new production equipment and official promotion of their content.
The push to foster more YouTube talent is not surprising given that a recent VentureBeat report pointed out that Europeans on average watched 20 hours of online video per month. This is a significant statistic considering that viewers in the United States, which is the home of Google, YouTube and various other video sites, register an average of only 15 hours of online video watched per month. High online video viewership across the world should give creators with great ambitions more reason to promote their YouTube content with an international audience in mind.
Responding to the growing needs of YouTube creators in that region and the appetite of their European viewers, YouTube opened its new state-of-the-art creator space in London last month in time for the Olympics.
Besides opening up a studio for YouTube’s European creators to spread their talents, the company participated in last weekend’s Summer In The City event in London, which brought YouTube creators and YouTube viewers together to discuss ideas, participate in workshops and check out their favorite creators perform live. Think of it as a scaled-down version of VidCon.
The appetite for online video, especially YouTube content, has gone global, and by fostering YouTube partners to the next level, the company will no doubt bring this model to other regions that have strong online viewership in the future.