Happy 2nd birthday, YouTube Partner Program!

Thursday, December 17, 2009 | 9:45 AM

More than 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, made by everyone from major media companies right down to your next door neighbor. Two years ago, we created the YouTube Partner Program to recognize and reward those resourceful individuals who managed (or had the potential) to parlay an interest in video into a meaningful career.

Today, many partners are earning real dollars from their videos. Some users have quit their jobs to concentrate on YouTube full-time, including several who make six figures a year from the site. The program has sprouted in more than 10 countries and our user partners now generate more monetized views per week than some sites generate in a month.

We want to pause for a minute to thank each and every one of our partners who have dedicated their time and talent to creating amazing content for the entire world to enjoy. It's been humbling to watch the evolution from first upload to major achievements like:

Our YPP partners have a unique understanding of how to engage their audiences and connect with people through video, and that is at the heart of their success. They are an inspiration to the YouTube community at large and they define what we mean by community itself.

This is still just the beginning of the YouTube Partner Program and we look forward to many more success stories -- and many more partners -- in 2010 and beyond.