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YouTube Networks - The Lowdown

Discussion in 'YouTube Networks, Monetization and Partnerships' started by Jeff, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Jeff
    Hey There!
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    Hey There,

    I see a lot of the questions/statements posted on this forum daily, that include the following. -
    • "What benefits do networks offer?"
    • "Should I join Network XYZ?"
    • "I'm looking for a network that will help me grow my subscribers and views. Any recommendations?"
    • .. and so on.
    In this thread, I'm going to go over the common aspect of networks, what they do, how they operate, revenue sharing and all of the common questions and misconceptions regarding networks. This will hopefully help you when you are thinking of joining a YouTube network.

    In simple terms, a YouTube Network acts as a “middle man” in between yourself and YouTube directly – which means you will be dealing with the YouTube Network in question, and not YouTube/Google directly. With a direct YouTube partnership (also known as Google AdSense), it is strictly between yourself (the creator), and YouTube/Google. A YouTube Network’s main purpose is to allow creators to monetize their videos, in addition to the creator being provided with some other type of value. You have to ask yourself – what exactly is that value?

    The value depends on what you are looking for out of a network, your needs in proportion to your channel size and content reach, and what they are offering you. In addition, the “middle man” (in this case, the YouTube Network) will usually always be taking a percentage of your monthly ad revenue earnings. We will break down how a direct YouTube Partnership differs from a YouTube Network, in terms of revenue.

    Breakdown: Revenue Sharing with Google AdSense & YouTube Networks
    • Google AdSense: YouTube handles coding, back-end operations etc. that they must pay for to keep YouTube.com what it is today. In return for that and other features, YouTube will receive 45% of your monthly earnings from your channel. What happens to the rest? The rest of the earnings left, after YouTube’s cut, are sent to you (you receive the 55% that is left over).
    • YouTube Networks: This is where we see the “middleman” step in. YouTube will still continue to receive 45% out of your monthly earnings. However, now that a network is involved, things get a bit different. After YouTube’s 45% cut, the network in question will receive the 55% that would originally go to you, and then they will take an agreed cut of the 55%. After the network has taken their agreed cut, then whatever is left over will be sent to you. Let’s use an example.
    MyTestChannel has signed with Network A on a 70% Revenue Share (70/30 split) agreement. YouTube will first take 45% of MyTestChannel's earnings, then send the rest to Network A. When Network A receives the 55%, they will take 30% of it, and then send the 70% left to MyTestChannel.


    Breakdown: What do YouTube Networks offer compared to AdSense?
    Depending on your channel size and the network, you may be offered a set of services that they deem to be valuable to you (and it is ultimately your decision as to how valuable they are to you). In the past years of YouTube, there were an abundance of partnership features that were included to channels within a network – most of those features have either been made public, altered, or no longer exist. That being said, here are some of the common features and benefits that YouTube Networks have been currently offering on the platform.

    • Support: As you may or may not know, unless you are one of YouTube’s popular content creators, the support that YouTube provides directly to channels with Google AdSense is quite disappointing and delayed. This is an area that a network support team may be able to be of benefit to you.
    • Low Payout Thresholds/Payments via PayPal: Google AdSense’s threshold is set to $100 depending on where you are located, which means that your channel must the generate $100+ before you are able to be paid. In addition, only the following payment options are included with Google AdSense: Checks, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), EFT via Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), Wire Transfer and Western Union Quick Cash. On the other hand, YouTube Networks usually have a low payout threshold of $1-$50 (depending on the network), as well as an option to receive your earnings via PayPal – which is popular among many.
    • Sponsorship Placement/Discounted or Free Access to Certain Services: Epoxy, TubeBuddy, Audio Libraries such as Epidemic Sound or AudioMicro, and Spreadshirt are some of the services that many networks are currently offering free/or discounted access to. In addition, some networks may have deals and discounts with different types of companies that may be of benefit to you (e.g – Free Website Hosting).
    • Growth Tools and Guides: Some networks may be willing to aide you in your growth tactics, by offering optimization tools, or optimization guides that could be of benefit to you.
    Be aware that features such as Custom Thumbnails, Livestreaming, etc.. can usually be activated with AdSense directly.

    ---------
    Now, in my opinion, AdSense (also known as a direct YouTube Partnership) is for channels who can manage themselves, and do everything on their own - without any third parties involved. This means you will be on your own, manage yourself, and will be dealing directly with Google/YouTube. Revenue-wise, of course, you will collect more of the revenue that your channel makes. If you feel confident you can manage on your own, then I'd recommend going for AdSense.

    There are also channels such as @Tim Schmoyer from VideoCreatorsTV (youtube.com/VideoCreatorsTV) that offer optimization videos, YouTube tips/news, and other various topics regarding online video.

    In addition, YTTalk offers guides, collaboration opportunities, support from knowledgeable and experienced forum members, tutorials, and tips regarding your channel. YTTalk, as you may know, is a great place to meet new people, and learn new things regarding the YouTube platform.
    yttalk.com/forums/youtube-tutorials-articles-resources.10
    yttalk.com/forums/strategies-technique-advice.14


    However, if you do not need the entire package that the network is offering you, and can get certain things offered, that you need, on your own - simply go with AdSense.

    What are some of the common misconceptions of YouTube Networks?
    Sometimes you will see a network offering the following “features” to you, but in reality they do not hold as much validity as they want you to believe. Also, this goes for pretty much anything, be sure to take everything they tell you with a grain of salt.
    • High CPM Rates & Premium AdSales: CPM does not depend on the network as much as it does your channel. The factors that determine CPM include: type of channel, audience, country, month, and other various factors. While the network will not be able to lower your CPM, do not expect a magical increase in your CPM rates. Lastly, most networks use the standard AdSense platform for smaller-average sized channel advertisements.
    • Promised Growth: Sometimes networks will claim they can help you grow your channel, and by that they are usually referring to the fact that they will provide you with tools, advice, or guides that will help you grow – but the heavy lifting will be on you. Unless you are on the higher end of content creators, do not expect the network to grow your channel. Ultimately, you will be the one who does the most work.
    Tips & Suggestions When Joining A YouTube Network
    Now that we have gone over the main aspects of YouTube Networks, I am going to provide you with some advice and suggestions when you are thinking of joining a YouTube Network. I have been in the YouTube Networking industry for roughly 2+ years, and wish to give you advice based on what I have learned hands-on throughout my time in the network industry.

    When you think of a network, think of it in the following way: you are hiring the network to provide you with a level of service and value that you do not have already, and in return the network will be taking a percentage of your earnings. Essentially, you are paying them to provide you a valuable service.

    • Contracts & Agreements: This aspect of YouTube Networks is very important. You must remember – when you are signing a contract, you are getting under a legal agreement between yourself and the network. My personal suggestion is to not sign anything over 1 year. Online video changes rapidly, and you do not want to be tied down to one network for 1+ years. However, if you are a larger channel, and the network is offering you something of great value, then this may be an exception. In addition, I cannot stress this enough - read your contract thoroughly, and make sure you understand what is written in the contract. If you do not understand the terms stated in the contract, hire a lawyer to go over and explain the terms with you, before you sign.
    • Revenue Share: The common statement of: “The higher the revenue share, the better!” is not always the case. Look at the features the network is offering you, on top of the revenue share. In addition, keep in mind that if the network plans to re-invest into your channel (considering your channel earns a decent amount), they need something to work with. However, the standard revenue share these days has become anything from 70%-90%.
    • Support: You want to make sure that the network will respond to your questions in a timely manner. Most networks use e-mail, Skype, Twitter, support tickets, or live chats as support channels. What I would do is try testing their support, before you join – by asking the network a question – even if you already know the answer to it, and seeing how long they take to get back to you. Normally, a timely response is within 24 hours or less (on working days).
    • Features & Benefits: What is the network offering you? Is it worth the percentage of revenue they are taking? Can you get certain things that they are offering on your own? Ask yourself these questions, and make sure you are satisfied with the features that the network will be offering you.
    • Partner Dashboard: How good is the dashboard that the network is offering? Does it have growth tools, growth guides, or optimization features that will help you? Before you join, ask for previews/screenshots/demonstrations of the dashboard, to make sure that the network has a helpful and useful dashboard, that will benefit you. Also, please remember you have the default YouTube Analytics/Creator Studio dashboard, which are the basics of what a channel needs.
    ---------​

    In conclusion, you ultimately have to weigh the features that the network will be offering you, and see if it is worth the percentage of revenue they will be taking. Best of luck!​

    If you have any questions, edits, comments, or concerns, please feel free to post down below.​

    Thank you for reading,
    Jeff​
     
    #1 Jeff, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  2. ApexxWolf
    I make Cartoons and Animations :)
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    A great post and hopefully this gets pinned :D
     
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  3. Polan
    Liking YTtalk
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    Great post. I learned a lot.
     
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  4. Aegislasher
    Leader of the GoudaEmpire
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    this is awesome! I have a lot to consider
     
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  5. Jeff
    Hey There!
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    Am glad it helped, thanks for reading! :)
     
  6. Ghoti
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    This is a fantastic post - hopefully it protects people from a bad network deal!
     
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  7. haarminnaar
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    I came to YTTalk with the exact question you just answered. So thank you ;-)

    My channel has been growing steadily on its own, and my only reason to join a Network would be to get higher CPM. I have an 90/10 offer from BBTV, but they wouldn't commit themselves in any way to raising my CPM. So I guess I'm better off to keep going like I do right now.
     
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  8. MBGaming
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    Great info Jeff, thanks a lot for taking your time and sharing all of this ! ;-)
     
  9. Furry Gurus
    I'm a girl!
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    Thanks a lot! Since you seem to know a lot about this I have an additional question: Will Networks help when you get a content claim or strike?
     
  10. Jeff
    Hey There!
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    Glad to be of help, no worries!

    No problem, thanks!

    As to your question, it all depends on the claim/or strike, network in question, channel size, content, and if it is even disputable. Sometimes networks will be of help in this area, but it depends on the situation.
     

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