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Despite being the No. 1 video site in the world, YouTube has had little luck getting Hollywood content. So instead of tapping studios to license premium movies and TV content, the Google-owned video share site is going straight to the source by trying to recruit and train the next generation of film and TV creators to become YouTube stars instead.

The company introduced the YouTube Creator Institute Thursday, a new media program jointly launched with the University of Southern California (USC) and Columbia College of Chicago (CCC) that will provide training to students interested in “advancing their YouTube careers.” As part of the program, 20 students will be selected to attend the summer program, which will run from May 25 to June 22 at USC and from May 31 to July 22 at CCC.

The programs will include training from faculty and staff at the two universities, as well as incorporating participation from industry leaders and existing YouTube stars into the curriculum. In addition to more traditional storytelling and cinematography classes, students will also get some training in audience building, monetization strategies and social media tactics for increasing their YouTube audiences. YouTube will pick up the tab for all student-related expenses, such as tuition, travel, food and housing during the program.

Those interested in applying for the program can do so between now and March 25. The application involves answering two short questions and submitting a 2-minute video demonstration of the applicant’s abilities. Applications will then be placed online and YouTube users can vote on them between March 28 and April 8. USC and CCC will then each select 10 applicants to participate in their respective programs. Winners will be announced April 20.

While YouTube is partnering with universities to train its contributors, competitor Vimeo is also trying to teach its users how to make better videos, but doing so with a more web-based approach. The video site, which is known for more artsy fare when compared to many YouTubers’ user-generated “talk to the camera” approach, launched its Vimeo Video School late last year to give users tips and tricks on creating compelling videos.

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