YouTube Black Voices Fund had over 100 creators gathered in Nairobi to celebrate 2023 grantees. The creators were drawn from different parts of the world.
The YouTube Black Voices Fund is part of the platform’s commitment to spur growth of Africa’s creative sector. The fund develops the skills of budding black creators, artists, songwriters and producers.
It was created in 2020 with the purpose of equipping creators with the resources to succeed on YouTube.
“When we announced the $100 million fund to amplify Black and African voices and perspectives on our platform, we wanted to create a space where Black people can share their own stories, in their own voices, with the world. The fund has, in many ways, created opportunities to amplify, celebrate and cultivate Black artistry for a global audience,” said YouTube Managing Director of Emerging Markets, EMEA, Alex Okosi.
Since its launch, the programme has helped over 500 creators and artists grow their channels and their audiences. In addition to funding, creators also received one-on-one mentorship and classes on how to grow their revenue.
The event coincided with YouTube announcing it had lowered requirements for creators to monetize their YouTube channel. Certainly, this was welcome news to the young black creators attending the Nairobi event.
Black Voices Fund has Spurred Growth
South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya lead Anglophonic creators on YouTube. YouTube data as of December 2022 shows that in South Africa, the number of YouTube channels making 100K Rand or more in revenue has increased. The increase observed is by over 30 percent year on year. The country has seen 25 channels reach the 1 million subscriber mark.
On its part, Nigeria has over 45 channels that have more than 1 million subscribers. Additionally, Nigerian YouTube channels making 100K Naira or more in revenue increased by over 15 percent, year on year.
Currently, Kenya has over 14 channels with more than 1 million subscribers.
The numbers show that the Black Voices Fund has had tangible impact on the growth of creators around the continent.