January 12, 2021


Erica Perry


Last summer, YouTube announced the launch of a multi-year, $ 100 million fund dedicated to empowering and developing the voices of black creators and artists and their stories. In particular, the fund has supported programs such as 2 Chainz's “Money Maker Fund” series, which showcases HBCU entrepreneurs, and Masego's livestream concert series “Studying Abroad”.

Today the platform is leveraging funds into those efforts to create a global grant program for black creators.

“The painful events of this year have reminded us of the importance of human connections and the need to further strengthen human rights around the world. In the midst of uncertainty, writers continue to share stories that might otherwise not be heard while building online communities, ”said Susan, CEO of YouTube Wojcicki wrote in a blog post detailing the decision and reflecting on 2020.

The # YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021

On Billboard, the program kicks off with an opening class of 132 people that includes musicians and lifestyle vloggers, including Kelly Stamps and Jabril Ashe, also known as Jabrils, who share educational videos that focus on the emerging gaming, technology and AI fields focus.

The musicians named in the group include 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, Snake with feet, Sho Madjozi, Tkay Maidza, Urias and Yung Baby Tate.

Each Grantee will receive an undisclosed amount of funding that can be used to support their channels and may include requirements such as editing, lighting, or other equipment to improve and improve the quality of their content. YouTube will also offer additional resources such as workshops, training, and networking opportunities to improve skills and encourage collaboration. "Not only are we supporting them for the moment, but this is seed funding that will help them thrive on the platform over the long term," he added.

Hailing from the United States, Kenya, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, and Nigeria, the cohort was selected in part because of their previous participation in #YouTubeBlack, a campaign and series of events promoting black creators that launched in 2016.

Prepare a future for change

“These creators and artists have already done this work and are known to their communities, but we are very excited to invest in them and we believe that with this shared support, they can and will become household names Malik Ducard, YouTube Vice President of Partners in the #YouTubeBlack community.

In today's landscape, influencers are themselves a media channel. The budgets set against them should not only be production-oriented, but emphasize a broader commitment to diverse and authentic stories driven by co-communication and co-creation. YouTube benefits from this effort not only to ensure these developers hear their voices, but also to keep the platform true to its goals and values ​​and commitment to its community.

“This is not a flash-in-the-pan Instagram moment. This is about keeping the drums of change alive and in the DNA of our organization, ”he added Lyor Cohen, YouTube's Global Head of Music, reaffirms confidence in this group's ability to lead and achieve long-term success through raw passion, creativity and entrepreneurship. "We expect these artists to be significant and important voices and make the music more enjoyable."

The future of collaboration between brands and artists

For brands working with music artists, this means that social listening requires responsiveness, flexibility, and mindfulness when it comes to incorporating culture. People want to be heard, not sold, and efforts should extend offline. This can only be achieved through a full understanding of a new age of partnerships – an age where brands play a bigger role in the lives of artists and artists cross the threshold to become true digital marketers who monetize the whole self.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to support 100,000+ marketing colleagues expanding their skills and knowledge.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here