While GoPro has built a $3.8 billion empire largely thanks to its fleet of rugged hardware devices, the company has just announced a major investment in its bid to become full-blown media enterprise.
The GoPro Awards will see the company allotting up to $5 million annually to GoPro users who push content creation to new bounds. In categories as varied as motorsports, music, animals and travel, GoPro will pay creators $500 for outstanding photographs, $1,000 for raw video footage and $5,000 for edited clips. One winner will be chosen in each category every week for the next year.
Both amateur and professional creators can submit an unlimited amount of work for consideration here. While there is no limit to the amount of times each creator can win, the company will cap total rewards at $5 million annually.
What, then, is GoPro going to do with all of this content? The company, which boasts a uniquely high profile on social media -- including 3.4 million YouTube subscribers -- has seen many clips shot on its cameras go viral. And when almost 30 million people watch a fireman resuscitate a tiny kitchen or an animal behaviorist cuddle with lions, that has been shown to bolster hardware sales.
Therefore, the company will promote the influx of new content on its various social channels, as well as the channels it operates on set-top boxes, like Roku.
Additionally, the company launched a licensing portal last July whereby brands and agencies can now pay to license out premiere videos and imagery created by the GoPro community -- with creators getting a cut each time their content is licensed.
Looking ahead, GoPro’s SVP of media Zander Lurie told Fortune that the company is planning even broader content initiatives comprising partnerships with global brands as well as Hollywood. “We will be a streaming media business in 2016 and beyond,” he said.