You know that it’s tough trying to pave your way through the landscape of YouTube.
Whether you are a new channel that is just gaining popularity or one that has been semi-established, there are no doubt times when you wish you had some help.
This is where a YouTube Network comes in.
YouTube Networks, also known as Multi-Channel Networks (“MCNs”) are service providers that help their partners with things like advertising, monetization, and copyright law (someone downloading your video and using it).
The promise of joining a YouTube Network is faster growth for your YouTube channel and increased revenue through opportunities and perks such as brand sponsorships, many YouTubers go this route.
We reviewed 5 best YouTube networks for small channels, but before that, read on to see if you should even partner with a network.
How Do YouTube Networks Make Money
YouTube MCNs make their money through a revenue share business model. This means they share the profits that you earn.
How much you make depends on your level of traffic and the network itself.
In exchange, networks give you access to tools that help make you and your channel more popular. They also offer alternate methods of monetization and opportunities to collaborate with others.
But it will be hard to reap the benefits of YouTube network partnership if you are only a small channel.
Different Types of YouTube Networks
Before moving forth and learning about making money, you need to know about the networks. Yes, that’s right! YouTube has various types of networks, listed below.
About MCN, these are the big fishes including various networks. Those will be later discussed in the article. To name a few, Stylehaul, Fullscreen, etc. are at the top.
Not only have these networks had thousands of channels under.
But also these are the biggest corporate ventures.
These networks are either under MCN directly or via a sub-network. Being the smallest type of YouTube network, they accumulate similar content creators. Also, such networks help other same networks in editing, production, etc.
Call them Sub-networks or Virtual Networks, they come under MCNs. The front end processes like hunting for fresh talent, helping them with optimization.
These are usually managed by Virtual Networks. Whereas MCNs tackle stuff like revenue streams or partner payout management.
Starting an MCN
A few years back, it was pretty facile to start up your own MCN. But today, the rules of YouTube are inflexible as the ecosystem has grown so much. So creating/starting an MCN can be a challenge in itself.
But here we have listed a few ways to help you out:
The Traditional Way
Create a Business Plan–The basic business plan must be veer and clean to cover any expenses. Define an ardent content strategy– Always reckon on the content you will create or pile-up.
Become a content aggregator– As MCN is about helping creators. Search other YouTube channels that create similar content. Find as many as possible channels, try to reach them. Help them with optimization, sign management contracts, and make money.
Become a subnetwork– After gathering an ample number of channels, you need to reach out to an MCN. If you get accepted as a sub-network, you will then get technical assistance. It will help with managing the channels and more.
Grow as big as possible– Once you become a big network, help the partner channels. You can help them in growing, views, watch time etc. Also, you can get CMS and MCN status by reaching YouTube.
The Newer Way
Create a dynamic Business Plan– You need budgets for supporting a vigorous plan. Things like technology, infrastructure need more budget.
Setup a solid tech infrastructure– Try to look for technology dealers. In-house tech can cause more time consumption and financial crises. You need these listed tech capabilities:
- A creator dashboard (with intuitive analytics for creators)
- Contract management (a centralized tracking of creator contracts)
- Reporting (a detailed section to keep track of the earnings of the creators)
- Financial management (creator payout management solution)
- Communication dashboard (Forums and messaging capabilities to aid discussions and interaction between creators)
Get investments– Once the plan and infrastructure are in the right place. The next step is to find potential investors for the sake of funds. The chances of funding increases manifold if you have a team, a strategy, and technology.
Aggregate channels– Afterward, help and sign channel management contracts. The YouTube channels having similar strategies as yours can be the best choice.
Reach out to YouTube– Use Partner managers for reaching out to YouTube with proposals. YouTube will give you CMS alongside the MCN status if it deems your plan.
It’s Not All Perfect
If you have a small channel and work with an MCN that takes a high revenue share, you may devastate your already small income. You may make substantially less money than someone without a network.
YouTube networks that work well with smaller channels offer enough benefits to counteract the disadvantages of revenue share and give the channels space to grow.
You will find plenty of haters of YouTube networks and plenty who experienced real benefits of them. You need to do your own due diligence before joining any MCN.
If you are unsure, it would be best to join a network that doesn’t lock you in for a certain period of time.
Now, let’s take a look at the list of top 5 YouTube networks for smaller channels:
Curse: Union for Gamers
If you are a gamer, then you will definitely appreciate that the first network we have decided to look at is Curse: Union for Gamers.
As the name suggests, it is a network geared primarily for gaming channels, and it has some great benefits. If you need a YouTube network for gamers:
Check out Curse.
- One of the best networks for smaller channels while still being helpful to larger ones as well.
- Offers its services at quite a low revenue share of only 10%. This is rare in the Multi-Channel Network world.
- No revenue cap, which means that you will always get your 90% regardless of how much it is.
- They do not lock you into a contract, as some other networks have been known to do. This means that you are free to leave whenever you should desire to do so.
- They give you access to two huge royalty-free musical libraries and provide amazing opportunities for promotion, among other things.
- If you are a smaller channel, you need one thousand subscribers and 4000 views per month to qualify, or 8000 views in a month.
This one is quite a big name in the world of YouTube networks.
If you had a problem with Curse being only focused on gamers, then you will love the fact that you do not have to be one to sign up to this network.
Check out Fullscreen.
- Decent revenue share, where you take 70% and they get 30%. Although not as good as Curse’s, this is still pretty okay.
- The requirements for joining are having 500 or more subscribers and good content consisting of HD videos. These requirements are nothing unreasonable.
- They allow you to upload videos simultaneously to different platforms.
- They provide access to footage libraries.
- Assistance with editing.
- Collaboration opportunities.
- Unlike Curse, they have a lock-in contract which binds you for two years.
- They have a payment threshold set at $50 per month, which means that if you do not make that, the amount you made is added up to the next month’s.
Disney Digital Network
Coming up next, we have a YouTube Network that is owned by Disney.
They recently acquired the RPM Network that is now called Maker Gen, a subsidiary of Maker Studies. Maker Studios itself is one of the oldest and biggest YouTube networks.
It is likely that some of your favorite channels are connected in one way or another to Maker Studios.
It was purchased by Disney in February 2015. Maker Studios is open to all genres and offers standard network benefits.
Check out Disney Digital Network.
- They have a low threshold of 2500 views per month. That means you do not need crazy traffic to work with them.
- They will share and promote your videos on their channel if they deem them good enough.
- You get the standard benefits of a YouTube network.
- They require a one-year lock-in contract. This means that once you start working with them, you must continue to do so for a year at least.
- Their revenue share is among the highest: they take 40% and give you 60%.
- If you want to get paid each month, you need to make $50 or more.
This network is known for accepting smaller channels and helping them grow.
They offer a nice array of features which should prove helpful for anyone trying to grow their YouTube channel.
Check out Freedom.
- They probably have the lowest or at least among the lowest requirements out of all YouTube networks, with only 1000 views a month or 33 views a day being enough.
- They have what is called “scalable revenue share”, which means that at first you only get 60% of the revenue, but eventually move you up to 95%, which is quite the share.
- They do not have a payment threshold or a payment contract. You can leave whenever you want and however much you earn, you will get paid.
- Just like our earlier entries, they provide standard multi-channel network benefits.
- Although they have a scalable revenue share, at the beginning they will take 40%, which is quite the amount of you are a new and developing YouTube channel.
Next up we have Machinima, a very well known gaming network.
Although restricted to one genre, it is one of the best networks for gamers if you do not mind being somewhat locked down with a contract as they provide amazing support and benefits.
Check out Machinima.
- The revenue shares can be 70-80%, but they also have contracts that offer you 100% of the revenue. This is, obviously, the highest percentage of revenue you can generate.
- The payment threshold is only $1 so you need not generate a huge amount of profit in order to get paid.
- They have a great dashboard.
- They have a massive library of royalty-free music which can be used to bolster your content even more.
- The network helps you grow your audience and provides multichannel account services.
- Provides content to PlayStation Vue, AMC Networks International, Amazon, Verizon go90 and many more.
- Lock-in contract of three years. This means that you better be sure that you want to work with them because once you sign with them.
How to Join a YouTube Network
The first thing to keep in mind is that you should search for a network which works with the type of content you create.
If you are a gamer, it makes little sense to try and get into a network that works with gardening channels.
You should also see what kind of creators the network you are interested in accepts and model your content after them.
This will put your channel on the map for them and they are more likely to make the first move, as is usually how it happens.
Getting connected in the YouTube community by visiting conventions such as Vidcon or Playlist Live is really advantageous. You can also get in contact with network representatives directly and apply that way.
Finally, remember that it takes persistence. Even if you do not succeed at first, remember that failure is a part of success and try again or move on to another network. You will breakthrough eventually.
So there you have it. We have looked at the most popular and accessible YouTube networks available.
The important thing, as with anything, is to see which one suits you the best. There is bound to be a network out there for everybody, considering how much YouTube is making money.
Look over the options carefully, see what kinds of contracts seem appealing, and make sure that the type of content you are making is the same as what the network is looking for.
If you do all of that, then you should have no trouble being approached by or applying for a network.
I joined a network that was for gaming (not Curse) and I regretted it because since I’m a smaller channel, half way to 100k, I wasn’t able to have an actual person to help me with copyright issues and stuff because you have to be a big channel to have that, which is one of the reason why I joined a network thinking medium sized channels would get that perk… Networks are good if your channel is over 100k, but if you have less than that, I wouldn’t join one until you’re over that number. People join networks mainly to get a manager to help them with copyright stuff and getting their videos out there but that’s only available to established channels.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Have you tried any other networks?
I would suggest talking about your needs before signing the contract.
In your example, you could ask them if they would help you with copyright stuff and if yes, proceed with signing the contract.