YouTube (s GOOG) is continuing its efforts to improve the output of new talent on the site with its YouTube Next Comic program: The site announced Thursday that it had selected 16 comedians to participate in three months of online training, as well as personal mentorship by an established YouTube star, and receive $5000 worth of video equipment and $10,000 to spend on Google ads.
YouTube Next Comic follows a number of similar programs aimed at grooming the next generation of YouTube talents. Last year, YouTube organized an ambitious University program, sending 20 lucky winners to hands-on classes at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and Columbia College Chicago’s Television Department. And two weeks ago, it started a summer-long series of Google+ Hangouts to teach video production skills.
Investing in on-site talent makes sense for YouTube: Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the site has been able to recoup on the investment it made into about 100 new channels, the owners of which received a total of $150M in advances.
However, not every one of these channels has been a success. Some outside producers new to YouTube’s community have been struggling, and some have been demanding that YouTube pay higher advances.
Homegrown talent on the other hand has been key to the new channel’s success story. One example is YouTube star Phil DeFranco, whose Sourcefed channel was the first of the new channels to surpass 500,000 subscribers this week.