Reps from YouTube, the ABC, the Seven Network, Matchbox Pictures, Princess Pictures and FremantleMedia Australia will address the opportunities for financing and producing online content at a conference in Melbourne next month.

Now in its fourth year, the Generation Next: Online Video conference will be staged in tandem with the inaugural Australian Online Video Awards (OVAs) on October 14-15 at the Docklands Studios.

The conference is run by the Open Channel, the not-for-profit, membership based organisation which assists the professional development of emerging and early career filmmakers.

The conference producer, Redman Entertainment’s David Redman said, “With the YouTube generation increasingly consuming online content and advertisers starting to following them, never before has there been more opportunity for creators to develop an audience online and build a career.

"This conference will bring together experts from both traditional and online media with creators who are already working between the two to explore how to navigate what is involved.”

YouTube’s Elizabeth Ferdon, who played a key role in working with YouTube start-up AwesomenessTV and in the launches of youtube.com/movies and Google Play Movies in seven markets in nine months, will give the keynote speech.

Redman, Bondi Hipsters’ Christiaan van Vuuren and Aunty Donna’s Mark Samuel Bonanno and Mark Miller will give insights into the elements needed to take ideas from conception to successful content.

MaryAnne Carroll, executive producer for comedy at the Seven Network, ABC head of entertainment Jon Casimir, former ABC2 controller Stuart Menzies and Film Victoria CEO Jenni Tosi will outline professional development opportunities provided by commercial broadcasters and funding agencies.

Thomas Mai, head of Mission: Pozible, will present a session on crowdfunding.

Matchbox’s Julie Eckersley, Princess Pictures’ Paul Walton, The Tunnel producer Enzo Tedeschi and Madman’s Dean Prenc will participate in a panel which explores original content and distributing traditional content online and looks at how the advertising industry is engaging with content creators.

Tosi said, “It is imperative that the next generation of storytellers are able to capitalise on the many opportunities available through online distribution in the future."

The OVAs are the first national awards to recognise the work of online video content makers in Australia. A panel of industry leaders whittled down the 160 entries to a shortlist of 42.

The winners will be announced on October 14. There are cash prizes and the best overall category winner will get a trip to YouTube’s Creator Space in Los Angeles to learn from world leaders in online video production and marketing.

Open Channel executive director Marc Gracie said the awards are "connecting to a whole new batch of emerging online content makers and helping the industry and public recognise the exciting possibilities of these new forms of creative development."

For detailed information about Generation Next, go to http://www.openchannel.org.au

For information about the Online Video Awards, go to http://www.ovas.tv