Multi-Channel Networks are entities that affiliate with multiple YouTube channels, often to offer content creators assistance in areas including product, programming, funding, cross-promotion, partner management, digital rights management, monetization/sales, and/or audience development. MCNs are not affiliated with or endorsed by YouTube or Google.
Whether or not to join a Multi-Channel Network is an important decision. You should do your homework and make the decision that works for you. Thoroughly investigate the Multi-Channel Network’s track record and evaluate the benefits being promised against your obligations to the network.
YouTube is an amazing platform in many ways – it’s free, functional, feature-packed, and user-friendly. However, it is also a relic of a by-gone era where the self-hosted video was too complex and too expensive for the average content creator to leverage.
Today with technologies like JW Player, it’s easy and cost-effective to create an Owned and Operated (O& O) video destination. A site that lets you take control of your brand, your traffic, and most importantly, your advertising revenue.
Developing a multi-channel strategy is a key step in any YouTube content creator’s lifecycle. This step is the maturation of your YouTube production from hobby stage to business stage. If you’re serious about making a living from YouTube, developing a multi-channel strategy is critical to your success.
It is important to stress that a multi-channel strategy is not a zero-sum game. It does not mean taking your videos off YouTube and putting them on a self-hosted site.
It means leveraging YouTube as a customer acquisition platform and driving a percentage of your YouTube audience to a self-hosted-site that has higher earning potential. After all, YouTube is simply a video distributor at the end of the day, and you should have many video distribution channels if you want to build a video business.
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Different Kinds of YouTube Networks
YouTube networks by definition are organizations that work with YouTube channels, to offer assistance in areas such as “product, programming, funding, cross-promotion, partner management, digital rights management, monetization/sales, and/or audience development” in exchange for a percentage of the ad revenue from the channel.
A more simplified version of that is a YouTube network is a platform that creators can give some of their ad revenue to in order for a service in return. That being said, there are three different kinds of YouTube networks.
Every network on YouTube is either a MCN, or it is under one, and for this reason, they are very hard to start from scratch.
Multi-Channel-Networks must have things such as advertising teams, product promotion teams, partnership managers, and legal advisers before they will be considered an MCN.
Specific examples of MCNs are Machinima, Fullscreen, Bent Pixels, Forela Digital, and BroadbandTV.
Priority Networks (PNs)
Secondly, we have Priority Networks a.k.a. PNs. Priority Networks are directly under MCNs, and they are typically created to cater to a more specific niche.
PNs must offer things such as support, hub channels, and other additional things to help their partners grow.
All of the things that Priority Networks do, while required, is in addition to everything that is offered by the MCN the PN is under.
Content Aggregators (CCAs)
These networks are a great place to start, and it is a great way to break into the YouTube network game. Content Aggregators focus on more specific or other niches for Priority Networks.
For example, a CA may focus on music partners for CrysisTV. Content Aggregators would allow us to partner musicians under our network even though we are gaming focused.
This allows PNs to expand and grow as a network while giving someone else a chance to own their own network.
Content Aggregators must run support for and offer hub channels to their partners. These all in exchange for a cut of their partner’s revenue.