“If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India,” These are the iconic words posted by Youtube in a recent blog.
With Youtube becoming such a stronghold of the Internet and a social media powerhouse, it is important that we understand and rank MCNs. As a marketer or a Youtuber, MCNs are going to a huge part of your business. If you are looking for the 10 best Multi Channel Network for Youtube Creators, then read till the end of this article.
YouTube content is gaining more leverage each month. However, the ways to monetize the huge and multiplying audience base can prove to be quite challenging. Both content creators and brands who are searching to develop sponsored content with YouTube’s most prominent digital influencers are facing this problem. In the midst of a massive following of YouTube stars’ and escalating popularity, Multi-Channel Networks or MCNs have come up to assist content creators. To improve branding and increase social reach, MCNs are responsible for producing high-quality videos. They are also useful in order to manage the advertising revenue streams for Youtube creators. MCNs provide an essential go-between YouTubers and companies. They act as a link by facilitating beneficial influencer marketing collaborations. MCNs are also responsible for providing brands access to an influencer’s large social following and social reach.
Fact Check: According to Google Inc’s YouTube, 1 billion unique users are now visiting the video-sharing website every month. This is roughly one out of every two people on the Internet.
What are Yuutube Multi-Channel Networks or MCNs?
According to Google Support page,
“Multi–Channel Networks are third-party service providers that affiliate with multiple YouTube channels to offer services that may include audience development, content programming, creator collaborations, digital rights management, monetization, and/or sales.”
MCNs have mainly two different types of channels under their YouTube network that allows YouTube to apply their policies and channel features:
- Affiliate channels: These reside in an Affiliate Content Owner and are managed at scale by their MCN.
- Owned & Operated (O&O): These are owned, operated and managed daily by the MCN that have obtained the rights and assume all liabilities related to the channel’s content.
An MCN’s job is to help talent produce top shows, build audiences, and community engagement. For the amount of support MCNs provide, they just take a cut of the Adsense dollars their curated channels would normally make (a 20% cut is standard). MCNs provide music libraries, account managers, and other supporting services.
The Top YouTube MCNs That You Need To Know
As YouTube content creators and marketers, it is necessary to keep track of the platform’s top YouTube MCNs. The platform has seen immense development and change and MCNs have grown and evolved with it. Here is a list of the most successful YouTube MCNs and what they are upto now:
- Maker Studios
Founded in 2009, Maker Studio is one of the MCN out there and they have overseen top YouTubers such as PewDiePie, who recently launched his own YouTube MCN called Revelmode. Maker Studios has continued to lead the way for rival MCNs by producing original and well-liked content like YouTube Red’s “Scare PewDiePie” series. Since then the YouTube MCN was bought by Disney for $500 million in 2014. Maker Studio has collaborated with both Disney’s Marvel and Lucas films to promote content for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and other Disney properties. One of the largest YouTube MCNs on the internet, Maker Studio is currently partnering with more than 55,000 YouTubers. According to the latest stats, the MCN giant continues to attract more than 10 billion views every month with over 650 million subscribers.
Founded in 2000, Machinima launched its official channel in 2006. It had gained more than 12 million subscribers over time and operated multiple businesses alongside its main YouTube channel, including Machinima Creators. The company was acquired by Warner Bros in 2016 and finally sold to Fullscreen in 2019.
With a network of over 30,000 content creators who reach over 150 million viewers each month, Machinima was the largest gamer- and gaming-focused YouTube MCN in its heyday. Additionally, they launched a media-buying product called Machinima Preferred Media Solutions. Machinima was the most-viewed YouTube channel worldwide, racking up two billion views. Popular channels consisted of Machinima Respawn, popular for its irreverent humour and Machinima Live, which hosted eSports tournaments. However, most of their content was deleted after the acquisition.
Broadband TV was founded by Iranian born and Vancouver based Shahrzad Rafati. Founded in 2005, Rafati says that she created the platform to manage the online video content for a number of global media companies. She wanted a way to “curate fan content to put our content partners back in control of their own assets”.
BroadbandTV was acquired by RTL Group for $36 million in 2013. Since that time, this YouTube MCN mammoth has become the largest network in the world. It has successfully been able to surpass giants like Maker Studios and Fullscreen. BBTV has conquered all in terms of total unique viewers per month, total video views, and total monthly impressions which is around 14 billion. According to Mashable, BroadbandTV manages over 74,000 content creators who post half a million new videos per month.
Fullscreen is an American entertainment company that was founded in 2011 by CEO George Strompolos. In 2014, Fullscreen was bought by Otter Media, a joint venture between the Chernin Group and AT&T.
Fullscreen also provides channel management and optimization services for brands and media companies to grow their presence on social media. The MCN’s current clients include NBCUniversal, Fox, Fremantle, JASH, Fine Brothers Entertainment, Mattel, WIGS, etc.
In recent months, Fullscreen has expanded its services beyond that of a traditional YouTube MCN. Today it offers tools, services, and consultation to social media content creators and brands. It is responsible for producing hundreds of hours of original content across platforms. It went ahead to launching its own streaming subscription service. Today, the MCN boasts a network of 70,000 YouTubers.
YouTube’s premier beauty, fashion, and lifestyle MCN, StyleHaul is one of the earliest Youtube multi-channel networks for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle creators. It was founded by the entrepreneur Stephanie Horbaczewski in 201. At one point, it partnered with almost 6,000 content creators to reach 500 million viewers daily. According to The Hollywood Reporter, StyleHaul had grown to average 2 billion views each month after receiving a $6 million infusion from the RTL group in the year 2013.
StyleHaul was known for its popular influencer and paid media campaigns for lucrative beauty brands such as Sephora, Maybelline, and Walgreens; till it stopped its operations in 2019.
Founded in 2012, Tastemade was founded by Larry Fitzgibbon, Steven Kydd and Joe Perez in California. It has reached the milestone of 100 million monthly users and 1 billion monthly views in a very short span of time.The YouTube MCN enjoys around $80 million in total funding from big organizations such as Goldman Sachs
An international digital network of food and travel for millennials. It lets users explore cuisine from around the world through a mix of original content and user-submitted videos. Apart from managing content creators and producing original content, the MCN has plans to develop curated subscription boxes, travel and lifestyle products, books, merchandise, and even open restaurants. It is a global community of food, home, and travel enthusiasts and its content include quick recipes to original series.
- Defy Media
An American digital media company that produced original online content for children in the age group of 12–34, Defy Media was founded in 1996. Known as Alloy Online and later Alloy Digital, Defy Media emerged from the merger of Alloy Digital and Break Media in 2013. Since then, the YouTube MCN has bolstered its original content by developing digital video brands like gURL, The Escapist, Clevver TV, and Shut Up! Cartoons. Defy Media boasted of more than 80 million monthly visitors and earned over 750 million monthly unique views.
In 2018, the company ceased operations after citing a variety of reasons.
AwesomenessTV is a film and television studio owned by ViacomCBS Digital Studios, a division of ViacomCBS. It was founded by Brian Robbins and Joe Davola. Based in Los Angeles, AwesomenessTV began as a YouTube multi-channel network and later expanded into talent, branding, music, publishing, and retail. It mainly focuses on Gen Z.
AwesomenessTV was purchased by Dreamworks Animation for $33 million in 2013. It was one of the first YouTube MCNs to be bought by a traditional media company. The network has since gone through a number of ownership changes. A very successful YouTube MCN, AwesomenessTV has generated 160 million subscribers which is a whopping number. It has also acquired nearly a billion monthly video views across platforms.
Studio71 is a YouTube multi-channel network owned by German media company ProSiebenSat.1 and formerly known as Collective Digital Studio. The network currently works with German digital superstars like Flula Borg, Lilly Singh, Epic Meal Time, and Rhett and Link. According to Digiday, Studio71 did more than 500 branded marketing campaigns last year, which basically accounts for a third of its overall business.
According to Digiday, Studio 71 is expanding to streaming programming.
POPS is a multi-channel network that was founded in the year 2007. It is a Ho Chi Minh City based network, that distributes content from Vietnam and other SEA countries to other regions. Its investors include Turner, EastBridge Partners and IT-Farm Corporation. It produces content of its own and distributes the content for various platforms including SmartTV, App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone.
The Pros and Cons Of Working With YouTube MCNs
Let us consider missteps related to working with MCNs. Firstly, content creators should always be aware of exactly what is in the contract as a lot of times they can be binding and restricting. One should keep in mind that MCNs are businesses working for profit. Therefore, it is important for channels and YouTubers to protect their own best interests. Another potential issue arises due to multiple content creators handled by MCNs. Smaller Youtubers and channels feel dissatisfied.
There are several pros and advantages related to forming partnerships with MCNs. They usually build up a following of incredibly loyal fans. They also provide exposure and endorsement to your products by people who watch numerous videos from the same channel. There is also more interactivity and more engagement with your advertisements. The best part is that you won’t have to go looking for the perfect advertising opportunity and you will be able to focus more on other important tasks.
What does the future hold for MCNs?
Youtube Marketing is ever evolving and ever changing. Almost all of today’s top YouTube MCNs have transformed into full-fledged media companies. Although, they were originally formed as a means to manage top YouTubers.
MCNs work to monetize their reach through YouTube branding as well as collaborations or partnerships and other advertising opportunities such as influencer marketing. Nowadays, much like traditional media corporations, MCNs have changed to include their own creative properties, video production studios. They also have the means to distribute products across multiple channels, both on YouTube and beyond.
If you are serious about making a living from YouTube then you will have spent at least some time learning the basics of monetization. Partnering up with a Multi Channel Network will be largely beneficial for you. From running the administrative and financial side of your channel to offering promotional, sales and legal advice.
Author: Aditya is the founder of Digital Polo a unique design company that provides unlimited design work for a simple, affordable fee. He also heads a full-service digital agency called Nico Digital.