What to consider when choosing a YouTube network


YTtalk's Juicy Lemon

Hello everyone,

So I thought I would make a kind of 'guide' in what you should look for and consider when choosing to join a YouTube network. This thread will cover the many aspects of a network partnership. This will include:
  1. CPM's
  2. Revenue Share
  3. Contract Length
  4. Payment Threshold
  5. Perks/Benefits
  6. Support
  7. Promotion
  8. Community
  9. Reputation
CPM's & Revenue Share

CPM is an abbreviation for Cost per Mille (Mille being the Latin word for 1000). This is the common measurement that advertisers will use when selling ad's to be displayed on your videos. CPM's vary depending on your channel content and the network you are with. You should note that a Network cannot quote CPM's but give you an average range (e.g. $3-8). Nor can a network guarantee any revenue either.
CPM is calculated in dollars ($).

When researching what Network to join, you really want to find their average range of CPM, you also want to find out if your CPM is capped or uncapped. An uncapped CPM is better because you may be likely to earn more revenue at times when ad's are selling well.

Some people may prefer a fixed CPM, a fixed CPM is different to a capped CPM. Fixed is where it always stays the same and that is what a person will always earn.

Gross and Net CPM

Now, what many people do not understand is the difference between Gross and Net revenue.

Gross revenue is the total revenue you would make before Google and your Networks cut are taken. You can work this out by using this formula:
  • Playback CPM x Monetized views
Net revenue is after Google and your Network has taken their cut. You can work your Net CPM out by taking your Gross revenue and taking the 45% (Google's cut) from your gross revenue. From there, you can take off your Network's cut, and that is the share you will receive.

What should I look out for?

When looking to join a Network, try and find as much information about their CPM's as possible. High CPM is one thing, but a terrible revenue split on top of it will not be beneficial. Try and aim for a high CPM and a good revenue split. Remember, networks are more willing to negotiate a higher split if you are a larger channel.

Contract Length

Remember when choosing a network, it is important that you look at how long you will be locked-in with a network. Only go with something you feel comfortable with. Don't sign your channel away to a network, it is a horrible experience, particularly if the network doesn't live up to expectations. Make sure you read your contract and all the small print, as it may be hidden somewhere within there.

Additionally, you may find yourself lucky and have a no lock-in contract, however only a select few networks actually offer this, and the requirements to receive it are often high.

Payment Threshold

It is very important you know when a network is going to pay you. Some networks may have a threshold, which means you are not paid until you meet that threshold. Just be careful and make sure you know what your threshold is so you know when you will receive your payment. Also, if you are a small channel, be wary of long it will take you to reach that threshold.


Some networks may have more benefits/perks over others. This could include many things. A few examples of the features you may want to look for are:
  • Partner dashboard to track earnings
  • Click-bomb protection
  • Free music library
  • Sponsorships
  • Partner forums
  • Referral program
  • Abilities to earn more revenue (e.g. Fullscreen's Gorilla Campaigns).
This is just some examples of the many features a network may offer, some may appeal to you while it may not appeal to others, so do your research whether what network will offer you what features.


You want a network which offers you great support. A dedicated partner support rep would be really great for you as they can help you with many situations you may find yourself in during your YouTube career. They can assist you and address any problems you may have and do their best to resolve them. Don't feel like a pest to them either, they are there for you. You may want to look at how the network offers you support; this could be via phone, skype, email. Do your research and find information about their reliability and how helpful they are. You don't want to join a network which you don't have access to speak to anyone in there.


Look at other people who are a part of the network and try to get in contact with them and ask them about their experiences with the network. It is best to contract more than just 1 person in their network, as many people have different experiences. While some people may be satisfied with their network, others won't. So it is important to get both sides of the argument and the positives and negatives of each.


Usually, a network with a higher reputation has this because they are well-established. Other networks on the other hand, may not have a good reputation. It is important to look at which networks people like and respect and others people don't. It should not just be a deciding factor though, because reputations change very easily. But just remember that, a network with a higher reputation is likely to be a better network.

I hope this guide may help you in your decision when it comes to choosing a network. Feel free to comment on anything you think I may of missed out or any questions you may have.

- Dan
Well the only thing I actually look for is support. If the support is bad I don't even watch the rest of the network.
Awesome! Thank you so much for this! I will definitely take it into account if ever I want to join a network soon :) :up:
These are just some of my thoughts in addition to Dan's great guide above.


CPM's & Revenue Share
Feel free to ask networks what their AVERAGE cpm is. Or ask them to estimate your CPM. It won't be a guarantee but it will give you something to compare against other networks.

There are also Quotas but I'll add that under perks/benefits below.

Also ask if the channel will offer a better revenue share if your channel grows. For example if they say "yes, we will resign your 70-30 at 80-20 if you break 100,000 views per month" AND you're already at 80k views per month, it probably makes sense to wait a few months to sign right away rather than locking in for 1-2+ years at 70-30.

Contract Length

Watch out for auto-renewal language and how it is structured. If the contract ends in 2 years that is very different than ending in 2 years and you only have a 20 day window to cancel your renewal.

Bad contract lengths are 2, 3 or even 5 years old.

Good contracts are no lockin, 3 months, or 6 months.

Medium contracts are 1 year long.


Every network SHOULD automatically offers the following:
  • Access to limited features on YouTube (Not exclusive to networks but things like custom thumbnails)
  • Click-bomb protection
  • Partner dashboard to track earnings OR access to "ad performance" and "estimated earnings" tabs on YouTube analytics
Common perks include:
  • Free music library
  • Referral program
  • Partner forums
  • Graphic design support - create channel art or thumbnails for free
Rarer perks include:
  • Sponsorships
  • Abilities to earn more revenue (e.g. Fullscreen's Gorilla Campaigns).
  • Signing bonuses (fixed $$$$ amounts for signing a contract)
  • Quotas (guaranteed earnings up to a $ or CPM amount, many ways to structure these)
  • Production assistance - editing videos, creating thumbnails, etc


Questions to ask:
  • Working hours of support
  • Time zone
  • Turn around time (hours? days?)
  • Contact method (Skype? ticket system? phone? all?)
  • Is support available on the weekend?
awesome dan
what is gorilla campaign?
Fullscreen's product placement system - lets partners make product placement videos then get paid extra CPM on them. Sorta feels like selling out in many ways. There are definitely concerns/issues with the system but it can pay 10-20+ CPM I believe.