YouTube buys Next New Networks to help improve content quality

YouTube’s hoping to improve the quality of its content with the acquisition of web video production startup Next New Networks. The idea is to help budding film-makers up their game.

The company is setting up a new team, called YouTube Next, which will launch a series of YouTube Next branded programs and services, absorbing past partner programs such as the Partner Grants Program which advances funds to partners based on future YouTube revenue share.

“The YouTube Next team and programs will expand our partner meet-ups and community events, increase investment in partner education and training and launch new capabilities in audience development,” says Tom Pickett, director of global content operations and YouTube Next.

Pickett says that, already, hundreds of people are making six-figure sums every year from their videos, and that the number making over $1,000 per month has tripled since the beginning of last year. Its partner program now has 15,000 members.

“But frankly, ‘hundreds’ making a living on YouTube isn’t enough, and in 2011 we know we can and should do more to help our partners grow,” he says.

YouTube stresses that the creation of the new group doesn’t mean that the company is planning to move into content creation itself.

Next New Networks, founded in 2007, is focused on developing, packaging and building audiences around original web video programming. It currently attracts over two billion views and six million subscribers across its partner networks of channels and shows, says YouTube.

Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed.