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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Multi Channel Networks : The Lowdown

I'm free!

Photo credit: Jon D Barker

After 6 months of being signed to an MCN, my YouTube channel has finally been released. I didn't make the decision to sign with a network lightly, and it look a lot of discussion, negotiation and empty promises to talk me into giving it a second chance.

For those of you that aren't up-to-date, years ago I lost all legal rights to my YouTube channel after signing with a dodgy (very well known) MCN, which ultimately led me to quitting YouTube for a couple of years. I made a video about this if you wish to hear about that experience, and I'll link it here.

Are multi channel networks worth it?

No, not really. Not in my experience.

I signed with an MCN after I met somebody from the network at Summer in the City 2016. A couple of my friends had signed with them, and they sang their praises to me. I felt strongly that I had my foot in the door, and that this network would take me seriously.

It can seem very appealing to sign with a network when they promise you more sponsorships, entry to events and a connection to other YouTubers they have signed. In 6 months of partnership, they were really great to help me if ever I had a question or a problem. However, they did not follow through on any of the promises they made me before signing. I was handling all my own sponsorship offers and didn't receive any further support. I did not get put on the guest list to events I was promised. I was not put in contact with other fellow creators.

All they did was take a 30% cut of my AdSense revenue (which I now know is a ridiculous amount), and they did nothing for me in return. I'd love to say that I just got unlucky, but nobody I know has ever said that signing with an MCN helped their channel in any way.

It's not the end of the world. I lost out on some money, but I've learned a valuable lesson. Never again will any network or management touch any percentage of my AdSense money, and I know better than to fall for empty promises ever again.

My take on MCNs? Save yourself the headaches and fly solo.
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