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Skip Ahead

Skip Ahead is a joint initiative of Screen Australia and YouTube Australia. Since 2014, over the course of eight funding rounds, Skip Ahead has supported 39 YouTube content creators to develop their skills, and support them to work towards sustainable careers. Past recipients include RackaRacka (Talk to Me), Superwog, Lyanna Kea, Julian O’Shea, Wengie, Beau Miles, Aunty Donna, Tibees and more. 

Skip Ahead is open to both documentary and scripted projects. In 2024, Skip Ahead will seek to support at least one project aimed at a children’s audience to premiere on YouTube Kids.


Skip Ahead aims to:

  • support a new generation of online storytellers and IP creators to expand their vision and ambition,

  • cultivate original Australian narrative content made specifically for local and global online audiences,

  • ensure the storytellers and stories being told reflect the diversity of people and experiences from around Australia, and promoting their importance - culturally, creatively and economically.


Applications will be open to:

Original content creators (individuals or teams), responsible for either:

  • A current YouTube channel with at least 25,000 subscribers, OR

  • A maximum of two current YouTube channels with a combined subscriber base of 40,000, OR

  • A YouTube video which has achieved a minimum of 1 million views on a channel which has a subscriber base of at least 10,000.

Applicants must also meet the general eligibility requirements set out in Screen Australia’s Terms of Trade

The project that is the subject of the application must:

  • Be for a scripted project of any genre. Story driven documentaries are also eligible as are educational formats,
  • Be intended to be uploaded to YouTube or YouTube Shorts,
  • Not be a ‘How to...’ or lifestyle program,
  • Not be an advertorial or intended primarily as advertising or marketing material.

Genuine collaborations between a YouTube content creator(s) and established producers, production companies and/or entertainment properties are encouraged and may strengthen an application.


What you can apply for:

  • Up to four projects will be funded.
  • Up to $120,000 is available per project. 
  • Eligible applicants can propose the format of the project, such as a series of six by five-minute episodes or an alternative that is appropriate for their creative concept and the YouTube distribution platform. 
  • Concepts that are more than 30 minutes total of content will be required to demonstrate an ability to successfully create this amount of content within a low budget. Applications must be for no greater than 60 minutes of content.

In addition, Screen Australia and YouTube Australia will offer funding support to successful applicants to participate in a three day in person workshop held in Sydney. This workshop will aim to develop participants’ projects and provide industry skills development. Travel and accommodation support will be provided for teams based outside of Sydney to the workshop, for up to three team members per successful project, from within Australia.

Participants must be available the week of 22nd July 2024 for the workshop.


Applications close 5pm AEST Thursday, 21st March 2024 and can be made through the application portal

Applications consist of:

  • A downloadable pitch video (up to 3 minutes) consisting of: 
  • Information on the series format (how many episodes, length of episode), 
  • Genre, characters, story arc and brief plot summary, 
  • Themes and tone of the project, 
  • The target audience, including demographics and viewing habits, 
  • The team and their past experience creating content, 
  • What is unique and exciting about the project. 
  • A brief profile of your YouTube channel(s).
  • A two-page pitch document that describes the proposal, details the audience development and social media strategies to promote the series to a wider audience than the creator’s existing subscribers, and a plan for how the creator might continue to grow the channel(s) following the release of the Skip Ahead content.
  • Outlines of episodes (or of project if a one off). 

If you have access requirements in relation to submitting an application or attending the workshop in person, please email online and we will make arrangements to assist.

Assessment criteria

Eligible applications will be considered by Screen Australia and YouTube Australia, as well as external industry specialists as required.  Funding decisions will be made against the following criteria:

  • Creativity. The creative strength and distinctiveness of the proposal, including the concept and entertainment value.  
  • Audience potential. The potential of the project to expand the subscriber base of the applicant’s channel(s) and/or reach new audiences and opportunities for commercialisation. 
  • Viability. The viability of the proposal with respect to the budget and scale of the project. 
  • Team and industry skills development. The track record of the key participants involved in the proposal and the likelihood that this program will demonstrably develop their skills in online content production. 

Other factors, including availability of funds, diversity of slate and the diversity of the team, may also influence YouTube Australia & Screen Australia’s funding decisions. Shortlisted applicants may be interviewed.

Decisions on applications are final. Screen Australia will advise applicants in writing of the outcome of their application by Friday 24th May 2024. 

Screen Australia and YouTube Australia acknowledge and appreciate the effort that goes into applications, but given the volume of applications will not be able to provide individual feedback on each application.

If you are unsure about your eligibility or have questions about the application form, please email us at [email protected] or call Program Operations on 1800 507 901. Please note that we are not able to provide creative advice or suggestions to strengthen your application.

Further information

Successful applicants must make the production publicly available for the first time on YouTube from a date agreed upon with Screen Australia and YouTube Australia. They must maintain the content on YouTube for a minimum of 5 years.

Successful applicants and productions must comply with YouTube’s terms of service and community guidelines. In addition to this, concepts aimed at children will need to comply with YouTube’s Content policies for YouTube Kids. Other terms, including delivery requirements, marketing and credit requirements for Screen Australia and YouTube Australia, will be detailed in the funding agreement.