YouTube Launches 'Foundry' Initiative to Cultivate Musical Talent

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YouTube wants to turn its platform’s music and video sharing culture into a culture for cultivating the world’s latest, burgeoning musical talent.

The Google-owned company has launched the Foundry initiative, a program aimed at expanding resources that help artists who use YouTube to share and develop their own work, Billboard reports. Foundry’s content, which includes a series of lessons, will be hosted on YouTube’s site, as well as in the YouTube Music app.

Users can tap into the site’s resources, including a lesson series that covers a range of topics, with a strong focus on live video production. As a regular streamer of major music festivals and concerts, YouTube hopes to use its expertise to equip artists with skills and tools to promote their own live shows.

The company has already laid the groundwork for Foundry, hosting several two-day sessions with big-name artists as far back as last September. The first session took place in Los Angeles while the second took place in London this past December. The latest session, scheduled for April 25, will take place in New York and feature BJ the Chicago Kid, Gemaine, The Range, Built by Titan and Miracles of Modern Science.

While the initiative is a certain positive for the site’s users and creators, the Foundry also has big payoffs for the platform. By expanding its streaming content library, YouTube increases its competitiveness with other social media sites like Facebook, which, within the last year, has gotten more aggressive about its own streaming video service, Live.

The growth also comes in the midst of licensing agreement renegotiations between Google, YouTube and major music industry players who have voiced concerns about low ad revenue payouts on YouTube versus other streaming services. The video site’s effort to promote artists and offer more exclusive content could be just the answer the industry is looking for.