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YouTube reveals the winners of its first Black Voices promotion of 2021 – Deadline

YouTube overnight announced a first round of winners for its YouTube Black Voices Class of 2021, an initiative to invest in new narratives on the video platform “that emphasize intellectual power, authenticity , the dignity and the joy of black voices ”.

The 132 designers and artists come from the US, UK, Kenya, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria and include musicians, beauty entrepreneurs, comedians, activists , poets, personal trainers, teachers and photographers. All of them have attended previous YouTube Black events, were invited to apply, and rated on channel performance and engagement metrics. YouTube has said it will open the application process for the next round of grants to a wider range of applicants in the coming months.

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The ideal music candidates – 21 were chosen this year – were interested in establishing a long-term channel strategy and releasing music by mid-2021, YouTube said.

The company will provide seed funding for channel development, partner support, training, workshops and the networking program. He plans to partner with more than 500 creators and artists around the world until 2023.

The startup money comes from the $ 100 million YouTube Black Voices fund announced last June. The company called Black Voices “part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where black artists, creators and users can share their stories and be protected” while seeking to become more inclusive. “

Malik Ducard, YouTube vice president, Content Partnerships, said the fund and initiative grew out of the YouTube Black Summit in Los Angeles four years ago, which featured influential black creators on the platform. “We wanted to call and show our commitment to this community in a new and much bigger way,” he said.

“There are millions of artists out there,” noted YouTube chief music officer Lyor Cohen. The idea is “to help put a battery on some of these artists,” which he added. “Also support us, improving our product.”

“It’s not lightning in the pan,” he promised. “It’s about keeping the pace of change alive.”

Ducard said there are no strings attached to the awards – creators don’t give up ownership or control of their content.

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