[Guide] Are YouTube Networks (MCNs) Worth Joining?

Jan 14, 2015
Reaction score
Channel Type
[Guide] Are YouTube Networks (MCNs) Worth Joining?
Hello! Recently I wrote a guide called "[Guide] Script Writing - Scripting A Video: The Process". Unfortunately, I cannot link it due to my member restrictions, but if you want an Extensive guide full of Tips on Scripting your videos then check out that guide.

Today, I'm going to do this write up to explain whether I think MCNs are worth joining a long with my own experiences and I will present the positives and negatives to see if one side out weighs the other and see what they offer. I know new YouTubers seem tempted by these Networks when they see other popular channels being part of them, but today we will debunk some common questions and myths.

Your Money & Partnership Agreement

So first of all, we will address the elephant in the room and the most popular topic of discussion on all of YouTube... Money. Money through the YouTube platform is no different to any other money through platforms such as Facebook, AD.FLY or PPC websites. YouTube pay you based upon your views, for an example you might possible make $1 for a thousand views (for example not 100% accurate). I won't release my own earnings data as it is against the TOS. However, 1k every thousand views is a fairly accurate number that most people throw around. This is the PKI (Payment for a thousand impressions), they are other names for it but it basically stands for the payment that YouTube will give every thousand views.

However, this is based upon Networks and not how to earn money or the earning process, but I wanted to make it clear and simple for those who have no monetized their content or not yet started.

The first thing you must take into account when joining a network is that they will take a Cut of your Revenue Share. For an example, before YouTube pays you, they will take a cut of the money which is around 45% (may be subject to change). After they take this cut, you will receive around 55% of the earnings. So before the money reached you through YouTube from the advertiser, YouTube has taken their share and given you a cut of the revenue from your AD earnings.

If you join a network, they will also take a cut of your revenue share. The choice really comes down to you if you want to give another percentage of your money to another company or network after YouTube takes theirs. When you are left with your 55%, you could lose another 40% of the figure from a network. That doesn't mean you will have 15% of your earnings left because it will be 40% of the 100% you have left. However, you will lose a lot of money so it is Important to look at revenue shares offered by the Network you have interest in.

Another important thing to address is that You Do Not Need a Network/MCN To Monetize Your Videos! Countless times have I heard this. You can monetize your channel and get paid through adsense anyway. You don't need a network to make money and most of the time you will be losing more than you gain. Some networks also claim their ads that they promise to put on your videos will make you earn more revenue and this is most likely untrue. You never have access to the CPM of those ads specifically and the CPM (Cost Per Thousand Views) can always be different.

Which Network Should I join?
If you really want to join a network and you have weighed up the positives and negatives and looked at any possible perks, you will want to take a look at what is available. For an example, here are some really popular networks a lot of people are part of:
  • Maker Studios
  • Fullscreen
  • Freedom
  • Omnia Media
These networks are huge and have large user bases and are most likely making a lot of money. Without talking specifically about any network, you must come to the understanding that Networks Are In It For The Money and Not To Help You. Some networks may have good support, but they make a lot of money off taking the revenue share from users so they are looking to get as many users in their community as possible to Maximise their Profit. This means The Customer Service May Be Bad due to the sheer user base size and lack of custom service representatives.

Another really important thing is that you Look At Reviews of the Networks you have an interest in or that appeal to you. Yet again, without naming any specifics, I know of many networks that people have had bad experiences with in the past. Some of these issues are from not reading reviews and then getting locked into a contract that doesn't favour them.

Contracts - Read Them!
Most people think when they join a Network, they will get great benefits. However, you MUST READ the Contract before you freely sign it. Remember, another important thing is to check the Network's Lock-In Contract status to see if you can leave at any time or if you will have to remain in their Network or system for a certain amount of time (e.g 2 Years). If you don't read the revenue shares or contract, you could lock yourself into a three year contract where you lose 60% of your earnings to your network with minor perks. The majority of the time Networks won't help you grow because they have so many users and will provide a limited amount of tools or perks on Their Dashboard which is usually no better than YouTube's analytics and may be behind.

Sometimes networks promise to give you sponsorships and brand deals and usually this simply is not the case. Most of these sponsors or brands are offered to the highest viewed or subscribed channels in their network (if ever they are offered). There are FREE Websites That Offer This Service! Some examples include Grape Vine Logic and FameBit which have some small requirements such as 1,000 - 3000 Subscribers/Followers.

When You Need to Consider a Network
Sometimes networks fail to get special attention from YouTube itself, but more often than not, if you are in one of the top Networks (i.e. Maker) you will be in a network with a huge influence on the YouTube hierarchy and if you have any problems you might be able to get help.

For an example, if you have problems with people copyright claiming your videos falsely (You can dispute this via the YouTube standard dispute form also) you can get help from your Network as well as if somebody is uploading your content and stealing it or attacking you online, then your network can also help to file copyright ID claims to take down those types of content which can be super useful.

My Experience
Lastly, I will explain my experience. Sometime at the end of last year (2016), I had a few money issues maintaining my website as I wasn't working at the time. During this time, I realised that it was taking months for my YouTube revenue to meet the demands of the lowest threshold in order to receive my payments from adsense. Because of this, I decided that joining a network was preferable for me as I could get paid monthly via Paypal. As a small channel, this can be a really helpful process, however, I will most likely opt out of a Network when my channel eventually reaches the stage where I could safely reach that threshold in one or two months and receive regular adsense payouts. This is just an example of how it is useful.

I joined the Network Curse after extensively researching into Networks. First of all, my channel was loosely focused on gaming content such as lists, secret hidden areas and glitches as well as gaming characters videos on lore and their backstory. Because of this, I was eligible. Curse had a 90/10 revenue split meaning I would keep 90% of the money I made and only lose 10%. I got paid monthly through Paypal as well as have access to a few tools such as Epoxy (Social Media posting tool) which was fairly useful as well as a huge set of sound and music libraries which were super useful for some animated content I regularly work on. Because of this, I believed I was getting good value for only 10% of my revenue. Although I am not advertising them or sponsored in any way by them, I have personally found Curse as a network to be positive during being a small YouTuber with nearly 500 subs.

I hope this guide helped in some form. I wanted to pass down my knowledge to newer people trying to pursue YouTube and share what I have learnt.

Last edited by a moderator:


There's always a choice
Aug 3, 2014
Reaction score
Channel Type
before YouTube pays you, they will take a cut of the money which is around 55% (may be subject to change). After they take this cut, you will receive around 45% of the earnings.
It's written in your AdSence contract/agreement that you will receive 55% and YouTube will receive 45%, not the other way around.