Work with Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs)
If you're a channel owner, joining or leaving a Multi-Channel Network is an important decision. Use our resources below to make an informed decision when working with one.
What is a Multi-Channel Network?
Multi-Channel Networks, also known as MCNs or "networks," are entities that affiliate with more than one YouTube channels. MCNs are not affiliated with or endorsed by YouTube or Google.
MCNs can often help content creators with their programming, funding, cross-promotion, partner management, digital rights management, monetization/sales, or audience development.
If you're thinking of joining an MCN...
MCN value proposition
- How is the MCN different from other YouTube MCNs?
- How can the MCN's services help you meet your goals?
- How do the benefits they're promising you stack up against what they're asking from you?
- How long is the contract for? (We discourage contracts that include perpetuity clauses.)
- What are the terms around leaving the MCN?
- What are the terms around termination from the MCN?
- What type of partner support will you get?
- Will the MCN help you optimize your channel? How?
- Is there someone at the MCN whom you can contact if you have an issue?
- What's the support turnaround time?
- How will the MCN promote your channel?
- Who are the other creators in the MCN?
- Will there be collaboration opportunities with other creators? How likely are you to participate?
- Will you get visibility into your earnings once you join the MCN?
Location and language
- Is the MCN based in your time zone? Will their location impact support turnaround time?
- Will the MCN be able to help you with local opportunities?
- Are there any language barriers between you and the MCN?
- Does the MCN have an ad sales team for your region or vertical?
- If they do, how will they help you?
YouTube Partner program
- How will joining an MCN will help improve your performance? You can use the Ad Performance reports in YouTube Analytics to compare your performance to what the MCN can offer.
- How will being a YouTube partner help you? As a member of an MCN, you can still join the YouTube Partner Program and access the services and benefits it provides, including monetization and international support.
Keep in mind that if you join an MCN as a YouTube partner, YouTube will pay the revenue generated from your videos to your MCN. Then you'll be compensated by your MCN per the terms of your agreement with them (YouTube will not pay you directly).
Keep in mind that YouTube isn't involved directly in agreements with MCNs since they're between you (the channel owner) and the MCN.
If you're thinking of leaving an MCN...
Most Multi-Channel Networks ask you to enter into a binding agreement when you join, so make sure you understand the terms you agreed to. If you wish to leave an MCN, you can ask the MCN to release your YouTube channel from their account.
Partnership status after leaving an MCN
When you leave an MCN, your channel goes back to the partnership status it had before joining the MCN:
- If you were a partner before joining the MCN: If the YouTube Partnership Terms were updated while you were a member of an MCN, you need to update your agreements with YouTube when you re-entering the YouTube Partner Program as an unaffiliated partner.
- If you weren't a partner before joining the MCN: Learn how to join the YouTube partner program.
Make sure to work with the MCN to get all relevant assets released or transferred to your new account. If you meet the criteria for YouTube partnership, you'll need to submit your videos for monetization review.