Multi-channel networks (MCNs)

Multi-Channel Networks (MCNs, or “networks”) are entities that affiliate with multiple YouTube channels, often to offer content creators assistance in areas including product, programming, funding, cross-promotion, partner management, digital rights management, monetization/sales, and/or audience development. MCNs are not affiliated with or endorsed by YouTube or Google. 

Whether or not to join an MCN is an important decision. You should do your homework and make the decision that works for you. Thoroughly investigate the MCN’s track record and evaluate the benefits being promised against your obligations to the network. 

Considerations when joining a Multi-Channel Network

If you're not currently a YouTube partner, you may want to learn about the benefits of becoming a individual YouTube partner, including monetization and international support. If you're already a YouTube partner, think about whether joining an MCN is likely to improve your performance. Check out the Ad Performance reports in your YouTube Analyticsto understand your current performance as it relates to what an MCN offers. 

Here are a few questions to consider when evaluating whether to join an MCN:

  • MCN value proposition: How is the MCN different from other YouTube MCNs in terms of services they're offering, creators in the MCN, vertical focus, location, contract, and payments to you? Are their services consistent with your goals?
  • Contract: What are the terms around leaving the MCN or termination from the MCN? What is the contract length? Note that we discourage contracts that include perpetuity clauses.
  • Partner support: What type of partner support will you be receiving? Will they help you optimize your channel? Whom can you contact if you have an issue and what is the support turnaround time?
  • Promotion: How will they promote your channel? Will there be collaboration opportunities with other creators in the MCN, and how likely are you to participate in those?
  • Transparency: Will you get visibility into your earnings once you join the MCN?
  • Location/Language: Is the MCN based in your time zone and will this impact support turnaround time? Will they be able to assist you with local opportunities? Are there any language barriers?
  • Ad sales: Do they have an ad sales team for your region or vertical, and how will that benefit you?
You may wish to consult legal counsel before entering into any agreement with an MCN, so that you fully understand (1) your commitment to the network and (2) what benefits they are committing to you. Note that YouTube is not involved directly in these agreements, as they are between the MCN and you, the channel owner.

Considerations when leaving a Multi-Channel Network

Most MCNs may ask you to enter into a binding agreement when you join. YouTube has no involvement in your agreement, and will not be able to terminate your relationship with that MCN.

If you wish to leave an MCN, you'll need to ask the MCN to release your YouTube channel from their account. YouTube is unable to provide advice regarding disputes between channel owners and MCNs. 

Regaining partner status

If you leave an MCN, your channel will revert back to its partnership status from before joining the MCN.

If you weren't a partner before joining the MCN, you may become one, and you can learn more here. If you were a partner before joining the MCN, your account will revert to its original partnership status. It's your responsibility to work with the MCN to ensure all relevant assets are released or transferred to your new account. Assuming you meet all the other criteria for YouTube partnership, you'll need to submit your videos for monetization review.

You can find additional information about YouTube MCNs on the Creator Hub.