BENlabs, the leading entertainment AI company, leverages AI to pair brands and content creators in powerful partnerships across influencer marketing, product placement, and music activations for brands such as Microsoft, Frito-Lay, General Motors, and Durex.
BENlabs AI platform (TubeBuddy) helps creators and brands of all sizes optimize their video content, simplify their workflow, and blow up on YouTube.
Recently, TubeBuddy announced its inaugural Emerging Creator Awards, designed to celebrate YouTube channel creators on the rise.
Megan Oxford, Senior Community Programs Manager at BENlabs, shares, “My job with BENlabs and TubeBuddy is really to discover more ways that we can connect with and celebrate the creator community. By bringing the Emerging Creator Awards to life this year, our goal is to recognize the hard work, dedication, and hours and hours of effort that go into any channel, big or small.”
Another considerable motivation for the Emerging Creator Awards was to celebrate creators who haven’t yet reached YouTube fame but are doing a fantastic job and putting in the long hours required to grow their channels. Previously, there was a massive gap in awards for creators in this group, so this is an excellent opportunity to celebrate these creators more.
To prioritize this further, the Emerging Creator Awards has a subscriber limit of one million subscribers, so smaller channels are the focus.
How Will These Awards Impact the Creator Economy?
TubeBuddy received over 11,000 nominations for the Emerging Creator Awards, far surpassing what they had anticipated.
Megan explains, “We’re looking at this as a way to provide an opportunity for subscribers and viewers to really think about these channels that have such an impact on their lives. We all have creators that we follow on a daily basis, the importance of that time in your day to just take a break and really enjoy the content that they’ve put so much time and effort into is really great and truly has become a necessity for us all.”
Another primary goal is to shine a spotlight on the finalists in all the categories and, of course, the winners taking home the final prize. Finalists will be announced the week of May 29th, and winners on the week of June 12th.
All winners will receive admission to VidSummit and a VIP on-stage speaking opportunity, custom SWAG, a custom trophy, and a lot of exposure for their channels.
Megan explains, “Arguably, the most valuable piece of this is the speaking opportunity at VidSummit. Thanks to our amazing relationship with the creators and founders of VidSummit, we were able to highlight that as a really unique and highly valuable opportunity… The winners are going to have thousands of eyes on their channels. They’re going to get to go to VidSummit and meet with and network with other creators and mentors like Derral Eves, who has dedicated his whole career to helping creators realize their dreams.”
She adds that the hope is that the winners and finalists will receive a lot of buzz to help propel them on their creator journey faster.
The winner selection process is a combination of a panel of industry leaders, data, and AI software to select winners.
Megan shares, “We are using a variety of proprietary AI tools to evaluate nominee’s channels. For YouTube, best practices like the regularity of posting, video titles, descriptions as they relate to SEO, audience engagement, and responses to those engagements… We have the deepest faith in data technology, but it’s not without its limitations. The human touch is then needed to go in and look at channels from a cinematography standpoint and from just the overall quality of the content that they’re putting out there.”
The proprietary AI tools used to assess the YouTube channels can pull a huge amount of data from the channel, such as audience growth over time, SEO best practices, and more, which will help narrow down the 11,000 nominations so that human eyes can assess the channels from there.
In addition, the AI software will evaluate any potentially harmful or illegal content or audiences made up of bots as opposed to real people.
The Importance of Smaller YouTube Channels
While smaller YouTube channels may not have the reach of a big channel with millions of subscribers, their audiences are often very loyal, engaged, and trusting of their recommendations.
Megan notes, “We really want to drive home the value of smaller channels. That’s not to discount the big channels because you can’t beat the reach, but we do want to highlight the value of the smaller ones as well.”
She adds that this is a big part of TubeBuddy’s mission to help encourage and provide creators of all sizes with the tools they need to grow their channels. While tools are essential, support and encouragement cannot be understated.
Megan says, “We’re here to provide not only the tools but also the resources and the community that go into helping solve problems and figuring out ways to help creators be more efficient. They can produce more content without as much time in the editing process or help them create those titles and those descriptions that are going to float their content to the top.”
The Future of the Emerging Creator Awards
Megan would love to expand the awards to include even more creator categories in the future.
Currently, there are the following categories: entertainment, gaming, lifestyle, commentary, education, vlogging, spectacle, Rising Star, People’s Choice, and Creator of the Year. People’s Choice is the only popularity-based award, while the Creator of the Year and Rising Star are based more on virality and potential growth.
Megan shares, “There are so many categories out there. We definitely want to make sure that as this program evolves, we’re expanding it to be able to recognize more individuals and include more categories, and have even bigger celebrations. We love to celebrate. That’s just the culture of BENlabs and TubeBuddy is that we take every chance we can to celebrate, and this program, hopefully in the future, is going to be our biggest celebration year after year.”
Megan says the goal is to continue making the annual TubeBuddy Emerging Creator Awards bigger, better, and more inclusive every year.
Currently, nominations for the awards are closed, but stay tuned for the finalist announcements the week of May 29th and the winner announcements the week of June 12th for more updates. You can vote on your favorite finalists during the week of May 29th for the People’s Choice Award nomination.