GNI YouTube innovation funding application

Introduction

At YouTube, we believe that the work of trusted journalistic organizations is as critical as ever, especially when it comes to providing information about current events online.

In July, we announced the steps we’re taking as part of the Google News Initiative to support the future of news in online video and our efforts to improve the news experience on YouTube. This included a $25M investment across the following three areas:

  • News working group to collaborate with partners to help us develop new product features and improve the news experience on YouTube
  • Innovation funding to provide capacity-building grants to news publishers
  • Expanded support team for news partners around the world

We are pleased to share details on the application process for GNI YouTube innovation funding. Through this program, we will provide selected news organizations around the world with grants to support building stronger video capabilities and innovating with video formats.

Best practices gained from this program will be shared publicly, providing all newsrooms the opportunity to learn and apply insights as we work together to support the development of long-term, sustainable video businesses.

We are excited to hear your ideas and support the next generation of video journalism.

Application closed

Application process and timing

Application deadline is October 12, 2018 at 23.59 PST. No applications will be accepted after this date.

Successful applicants will be notified by December 1, 2018.

Application eligibility

Eligible projects must come from publishers, broadcasters, agencies, video creators and production companies that aim to produce news content that is factual, informative, and trustworthy. Collaborations amongst applicants are welcome.

Eligible projects must demonstrate a scrupulous approach to journalistic practices including but not limited to news-gathering, fact checking, objectivity, balance and ethics.

Eligible projects must focus on building capabilities to create video programming focused on topical news, current affairs and politics in formats that follow YouTube best practices and/or demonstrate a strategy to develop new formats to grow an engaged audience.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate at least a basic level of video production and operations expertise and manage at least one YouTube channel with a minimum of 50,000 subscribers.

We will accept applications from organizations headquartered in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greater China, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam.

Considerations

Capability building: Grants should be used to build more sustainable video operations rather than a specific piece or pieces of content. For example, the grant might be used to enhance production facilities, train staff on video best practices or grow teams that will enable your organization to develop that great news format optimized for online video.

Funding should not be used for outsourcing production or licensing content wholesale from third-parties.

Content category: Grants should be used to facilitate the creation of news video, topical news, current affairs and politics. We are not looking for proposals geared to facilitate the creation of non-video, non-news or verticalized news content e.g. celebrity, sports, technology news. Where rights permit, the video output should be made available globally.

Funding model: Grant size will vary based on the application details and may be valued up to approximately $250,000 USD. As the application process moves forward, we will work with you to determine the appropriate grant size based on the proposal.

We are looking for proposals where the news organization is equally invested in the success of the project, demonstrating a commitment to building out capabilities. As such, successful applications will include co-resource investment, which may include staffing or production resources.

Ecosystem sharing: Successful applicants should be willing to showcase the projects and learnings that result from innovation funding, including the publishing of public case studies to be shared with news organizations around the world.

Selection criteria: Eligible projects will be evaluated primarily against the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Preferred projects will demonstrate an innovative component and involve or promote the production of original journalism.
  • Sustainability: Preferred projects will demonstrate a plan for long term sustainability.

FAQ

What is GNI YouTube innovation funding?
Funding that is designed to enable innovation in video journalism. We will provide funding to support news organizations around the world in building sustainable video operations.

Provided on an application basis to news organizations of all types, these grants will enable our partners to build key capabilities, train staff on video best practices, enhance production facilities and develop formats optimized for online video.

Who is eligible for innovation funding?
Publishers, broadcasters, agencies, video creators and production companies that produce news content that is factual, informative, and trustworthy. Collaborations are welcome.

Eligible applicants will demonstrate a scrupulous approach to journalistic practices, including but not limited to news-gathering, fact checking, objectivity, balance and ethics.

Eligible applicants must demonstrate at least a basic level of video production and operations expertise and manage a YouTube channel with a minimum of 50,000 subscribers.

Eligible applicants must be organizations headquartered in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greater China, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Poland, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam.

Are collaborations between organizations eligible?
Collaborations between organizations (for example, a consortium of publishers, production companies and journalists) may be considered depending on the details of the proposal submitted. With collaborations, one applicant must be selected to submit the application on behalf of all collaborators in the group.

Are start-up organizations eligible?
Participant organizations must already exist at the time of program announcement and meet all other relevant criteria to be eligible.

Is there a maximum number of applications per applicant?
Each applicant may submit a maximum of 1 application. For organizations that are part of a larger group or holding structure, we are unlikely to fund more than 1 project per group or holding. Application to this program round does not prevent you from making an application to any future rounds or funding programs.

What projects are eligible for innovation funding?
Grant should be used to build more sustainable video operations rather than a specific piece or pieces of content. For example the grants might be used to enhance production facilities, train staff on video best practices or grow teams that will enable your organization to develop that great format that is optimized for online video. Funds should not be used for outsourcing production or licensing content wholesale from third-parties.

Eligible projects will focus on building capabilities to create video programming focused on topical news, current affairs and politics.

What is the funding size and model for successful applicants?
Grant size will vary based on the application details and may be valued up to approximately $250,000 USD. As the application process moves forward, we will work with those selected to determine the appropriate grant size based on the specific proposal.

We are looking for proposals where the news organization is invested in the success of the project, demonstrating a commitment to building out capabilities. As such, successful applications will include co-resource investment, which may include staffing or production resources.

Will successful applicants be required to enter into a formal agreement with YouTube to access funding?
Yes, funding is conditional on successful applicants entering into a funding agreement with YouTube. This funding agreement will contain more details about eligible expenses, payment timelines, and other commitments.

Will successful applicants be required to share insights that result from innovation funding with the wider news community?
Yes, successful applicants should be willing to showcase the projects and learnings that result from innovation funding, including the publishing of public case studies to be shared with the wider news community.

When can I apply and when is the application deadline?
Application window is now open and the deadline to apply is October 12, 2018 at 23.59 PST. No applications will be accepted after this date.

Is information about GNI YouTube innovation funding available in other languages?
Yes. You can download program information in other languages here. If you do not see the language you are looking for, please email us at youtube-innovation-funding@google.com.

Can I submit my application in a language other than English?
Yes. Applications can be submitted in your local language.

You can review program information and the application questions in other languages here. If you do not see the language you are looking for, please email us at youtube-innovation-funding@google.com.

Will the YouTube team ask for additional information than that provided in the application form?
We may require additional information from you to properly assess your application. We will then contact you using the contact details provided by you to request (i) an interview to discuss your application and/or (ii) that you provide further supporting documentation. If you are unable to comply with such request within the reasonable time frame requested by us, your application will be rejected.

How can I best prepare my submission?
The application deadline is October 12, 2018 at 23.59 PST. Use this time to document your application as thoroughly as possible taking care to demonstrate how eligibility criteria has been met. When you are ready, please submit an application through the online form, as it cannot be saved for later revision. If you need additional information, please contact us at youtube-innovation-funding@google.com.

What information is required for my application?
In order to assess applications we will need information such as:

  • Company information including headquarters location, URL, number of employees, number of journalists employed
  • Project description
  • Project budget and amount of funding requested for all costs associated with the project including where relevant, but not limited to, production team, on-screen contributors and talent, equipment, post production, graphics, music and music licensing, news footage/archive sourcing and clearance, fact checking, direct production travel, location/studio, insurance, health and safety and legal costs.

What are the selection criteria?
Eligible projects will be evaluated primarily against the following criteria:

  • Innovation: Preferred projects will demonstrate an innovative component and involve or promote the production of original journalism.
  • Sustainability: Preferred projects will demonstrate a plan for long term sustainability.

How does the selection process work?
Eligible applications will move to a selection round where the strongest applications will be shortlisted. The selection round will be conducted by a team composed of YouTube employees with expertise in news and the local markets. Selection of the successful projects will be at YouTube’s absolute discretion. We do not guarantee that any application will be successful.

Is there a minimum subscriber threshold for the YouTube channel that will host video content created via Innovation Funding?
Videos should be hosted on the news organization’s YouTube channel, which should have a minimum of 50,000 subscribers.

Should the content created via innovation funding be made available on YouTube only?
No, innovation funding is intended to build video capabilities and any content resulting from the development of those capabilities need not be exclusive to YouTube.

Who will own the IP of content created via the innovation funding?
Ownership of intellectual property rights associated with content created via the innovation funding and any subsequent information or materials provided to us by you or on your behalf as part of the application process will be retained by you.

What is the expectation with respect to project timing?
Successful applicants will be notified by December 1, 2018. We will then proceed with an agreement. We expect projects will be underway and output will begin during the first half of 2019.

If my submission is not selected, will I receive feedback with details of why?
Due to the high volume of applications expected, we are unable to provide personalized feedback on each proposal at this time. However, the best practices gained from this program will be shared widely, providing all newsrooms the opportunity to learn and apply insights as we work together to support the development of long-term, sustainable video businesses.

What will you do with the information I submit?
A limited number of YouTube staff will have access to the responses that applicants submit. They will only use the responses to assess the proposal.

How can I contact the innovation funding team?
If you would like to contact the team, please email youtube-innovation-funding@google.com. During the assessment process, applicants may be asked to provide additional details about their project including meetings and/or the submission of further supporting documents.