Should I Join That YouTube Network?

Real quick, here’s the perks most major Multi Channel Networks will offer you (in exchange for 20%+ of your ad rev.)

Facilities — Access to content studios and editing bays that could up your production quality.
Exposure — MCNs can create brand deals that potentially lead to content with celebrities and more traditional media outlets.
Collabs — MCNs will use other channels on their network to arrange collaborations with your channel. Now you have access to two or more audiences.
Money — The whole goal of MCNs is to sell optimal ads in your video. This increased targeting will get your video’s ads more clicks. More clicks = more money.
Education — They provide tools to help you further optimize your content strategy. This could be simple ‘tagging strategy’ or complex analytics software. Some of them just do it for you.

But, should you join?

NO.

“Why? All that stuff sounded really helpful.” It was, a few years ago. MCNs are marketing companies. Not beautiful harbors for creation. They came into existence when YouTubers started seeing real cash and advertisers wanted in on the money.

Let’s dispute those perks from earlier.

Facilities — YouTube is wonderful because you can broadcast to millions from your bedroom. You do not need a studio to create. Your viewers like being in that bedroom with you. If you have a special video, there are content studios in every major city that you can rent for a couple hundred bucks (instead of 20% of your overall ad revenues). Editing bays are nice, but almost every Creator can get Adobe Suite for 50 bucks a month.

Exposure — Yes, they have the ability to link you with more mainstream entertainers. Lets be real, that is for their 1% of channels. Get your exposure the old fashioned way and earn it through solid content.

Collabs — You don’t need a network to negotiate this. Find your favorite Creator’s twitter handle and message them. YouTube is a collaborative community naturally.

Money — AKA the real reason anyone joins. It’s true that their ad sales team will bring more relevant advertisements. And yes, it will lead to more clicks. If you’re earning 10% more on your videos yet, paying 20%+ to a network, you didn’t profit a dime. In fact, you just lost some money.

Education — Here’s the beautiful thing about marketing companies. They write absurd amounts of blogs on all types of video marketing techniques. You could learn the things networks are teaching you by reading three blogs every morning for a few months.

YouTube already takes 45% of your earnings. You survive off that remaining 55%. There aren’t too many investors that would advise giving away more. You can provide what the networks provide with some extra time and effort.

Thanks for reading. Let’s hangout on twitter.