Should You Join a YouTube Network? The Pros and Cons of YouTube Partner Networks [Reel Web #67]

Should You Join a YouTube Network? The Pros and Cons of YouTube Partner Networks [Reel Web #67]

On this week's Reel Web, we cover several online video related news items from the past week including the new YouTube studio space just opened in Los Angeles, updates to VYou's video Q&A platform, and more.  We also spend some time addressing a common question that we often receive through our YouTube channel, "Should I join a YouTube network? And if so, which one?"

YouTube Networks: The Pros & Cons of Joining a Partner Network

You may be wondering whether or not you should join a YouTube network. The rapid rise of online video studios and YouTube networks like Machinima, BigFrame, Maker Studios, FullScreen, and a host of others presents new options for creators to consider, but navigating this new world can be a bit overwhelming.  There are certainly a lot of YouTube Networks out there to choose from and all of them offer a lot of great perks for signing on as a network partner, but are the benefits worth any drawbacks and downsides?

Ray William Johnson, who recently left Maker Studios (a "YouTube network") and therefore clearly has an opinion, gave his thoughts on the viability of partnering with YouTube networks in an interview post on NewMediaRockStars.com.  Ray stated the following:

Should You Join a YouTube Network? The Pros and Cons of YouTube Partner Networks [Reel Web #67]I don’t know everything there is to know about Youtube-based networks, but as far as I do know, there’s no good reason to ever sign your Youtube Adsense account over to a 3rd party. Ever. Period. Anything a Youtube-based network wants to do for you, they can accomplish without seizing control of your Adsense account.

If you want production or managerial assistance, then partner with a production entity or manager and pay them a percentage of your expected revenue, but don’t sign your Adsense over to them. Furthermore, from a business perspective, there’s no long-term business plan in owning a collection of thousands of Youtube Adsense accounts. Again, I say this having somewhat limited knowledge of every single Youtube-based network out there. I know there are dozens of them (networks) at this point, and who knows, maybe some of them are doing great things.

Clearly Ray doesn't see any reason why anyone should ever, under any circumstance, sign over their AdSense account to someone else or to a network of any kind.

That being said, everyone is different and clearly there are benefits to joining these networks as evidenced by the many established YouTube channels that have formed partnerships with YouTube networks.  Additionally, many of these networks really can help when it comes to production and marketing resources.  Therefore, we recommend separately evaluating the pros and cons of each network to determine on your own if there's a good upside for your specific channel needs and goals.  This is a somewhat nacent market and business models will likely evolve.  At the very least, keep your eye on the networks to see if they make sense for your efforts.

QUESTION: If you've signed with a YouTube network, has it been worth it? Comment below

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the concept of a YouTube network, here's a good overview post about online video studios and YouTube networks.

What does YouTube have to say about it? 

It is entirely up to you whether you would like to join a network. YouTube does not suggest or recommend any particular networks. Before making your decision, you should evaluate the benefits any network promises to provide against the payment the network is seeking from you, and you should thoroughly investigate the network’s track record. You may wish to consult legal counsel before entering into any agreement with a network. YouTube has no involvement in these agreements as they are between the network and the channel owner directly.

List of YouTube Networks:

Here's a list of several YouTube Networks that we're aware of.  There are many others popping up from time to time so feel free to let us know if there are others that we missed in the comments below.

YouTube Studio Production Space in Los Angeles

YouTube has set up a new creator space for qualified partners out in LA.  They’ve renovated a 41,000 square foot facility that was once an old airplane hangar, and have turned it into a place with resources for YouTube users.  NewMediaRockStars.com toured the facility and you can find photos of the space on their blog.  The location in LA  provides a lot of training programs and workshops.  It’s a place where you can get hands-on experience from industry leaders, attend events and network with fellow creators to share idea and collaborate.

At the facility, you’ll have access to a variety of resources including:  two production stages, a recording studio, three green screen rooms, a motion capture studio, a screening room, collaboration spaces, a back lot, an equipment room with cameras, lights, mics, and grip equipment, and a lot more.  The best part is it's all available for free to qualified YouTube partners.  If you’re in the LA area, you should find out more information if you want to reserve some free time there to work on your own projects.

VYou Added Features

While VYou is not a new service, they have recently implemented new features that could be useful for those of us that are trying to engage our audiences in new ways.  Now when you log in you can see your Twitter feed right there.  Instead of just tweeting back on normal 140 character text tweet, you can actually respond to their question with a video response.  A link will send them to watch your video at VYou.com.  If you're not familiar with the service, VYou lets your viewers ask you a lot of questions either by text or video, and then gives you the ability to individually respond to each and every question right there.  It's a great way to get a community of people involved answering and asking questions.


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View The Full Video Transcript:

On this week's look at The Reel Web, we're going to take a little behind-the-scenes look at the space that YouTube has set up for us creators in LA. Also, we'll talk a little bit about if you should join a YouTube network or not, some interesting, new information there, and we're going to talk about how you can use Twitter and video together to answer questions with your fans. That's coming up.

Hey, guys. My name is Tim Schmoyer and welcome to another week of The Reel Web where every week we just highlight for you guys some of the online video news from the week before and before we get started as usual, right over here, you guys can click on any one of these stories and jump ahead if you kind of get bored with one or just kind of one that interests you. Jump ahead, see what's coming up.

Let's get started with a new creator space that YouTube has set up for qualified partners out in LA. It is 41,000 square feet, used to be an old airplane hangar, apparently, and they had rented it and turned it into a place with lots of cool stuff. In fact, the guys from NewMediaRockStars.com went and checked it out, took a bunch of pictures, which I'm going to show you here with their permission. Check it out. There are more pictures on NewMediaRockStars.com's blog post, which is linked up below this video. The YouTube space in LA provides a lot of training programs and workshops where you can get a lot of hands-on experience from industry leaders. There's also a lot of events. You can meet fellow creators, just share a lot of new ideas with other people who are using YouTube, and it's really just a place where creators can bring their stories to life.

You have access to a variety of resources including two production stages, a recording studio, three green screen rooms, a motion capture studio, a screening room, collaboration spaces, a back lot, an equipment room with cameras, lights, and mics, and grip equipment available, and oh, a lot much more, and the best part is it's all available for free to qualified YouTube partners. So use the link below to find out more information if you want to reserve some time there for free to work on your own projects if you're in the LA area, most likely I guess. Go check that out.

The question that I get here a lot is should I join a YouTube network. We've talked here with people on both sides of the issue. There's obviously a lot of perks, a lot of benefits. There's also some drawbacks and downsides you got to weigh and consider. Well, Ray William Johnson in a post also from NewMediaRockStars.com that's linked up below, he talked a little bit more about this and he said, which has kind of been my stance, is he says he doesn't see any reason why anyone should ever, under any circumstances, sign over their Adsense account to someone else, to a network of any kind. He says that anything that a YouTube-based network wants to do for you, they can accomplish that without having to seize your Adsense account, and he goes into a little bit more detail about that, but I would love to hear from you guys. If you are assigned with a network, did you find it beneficial? Do you find that it was a good move, a good decision for you to make, or are you kind of like eh, I signed but I'm not really seeing any benefits. I would've been just as fine if I hadn't singed over my Adsense account to another network. I'd love to hear what you guys' experiences are in the comments below or a video response would be awesome.

And let's talk about VYou.com. VYou is not a new service. It's been around for a long time, but they've implemented a new features that I think could be useful for those of us that are trying to engage our audiences in new ways, and basically what it is, is you log in, you can see your Twitter feed right there and instead of just, like, tweeting back on normal 140 character text tweet, now you can actually respond to their question with a video response that then sends them to watch your video at VYou.com. Now if you're not familiar with the service, basically it lets your viewers ask you a lot of questions either by text or by video, and then you have the ability to individually respond to each and every question right there, and it's kind of cool 'cause you can kind of get a community of people involved answering questions and asking questions.

A lot of YouTubers use it but I have not been one of them. I've used it a little bit here and there, but I'd love to try it out with you guys a little bit more. If you have any questions at all either for me personally or about video or about YouTube or however I can help you guys. I'm not saying I know everything there is to know about everything 'cause that's clearly not the case, but just submit whatever questions you have through there. Video questions would be awesome or just text ones, as well. The link to my VYou profile is in the description below, so go check it out and for the next little while, I'll just do my best to respond there to any questions that you guys has. So let's play with it, let's check it out. Let me know what you think of it after you use it, as well.

For Creator's Tip video on Thursday, I promise you won't want to miss this interview. I talked with a lady who helps people who are creative and have lots of great ideas and helps them turn that into a business model so they can take what they love doing, what they're passionate about, and turn that into something that's profitable and provides an income for them and their family. It's going to be a really great interview. She's going to help you guys understand how you can take the first couple steps to moving into a business, turning your creation into something that makes money for you and provides for you and the people around you. So watch for that on Thursday.

If you're not subscribed, make sure you click that button above or below this video depending on where you're watching this video, but make sure you get that video and all the other stuff that we're doing. Make sure you check us out at ReelSEO.com where we are publishing awesome content just like this all throughout the week for you guys. Check us out there, and I will see you at VYou.com/TimSchmoyer or somewhere else around the webisphere until then. Talk to you later. Bye.

About the Author -
Mark Robertson is the Founder and Publisher of ReelSEO, an online information resource dedicated to the fusion of video, technology, social media, search, and internet marketing. He is a YouTube Certified, video marketing consultant and video marketing expert, popular speaker, and considered to be a passionate leader within the online video and search marketing industries. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://twitter.com/broadbandtv BroadbandTV Corp

    Thanks for the informative article – BroadbandTV and our VISO and TGN networks consistently rank as the top 6 YouTube network. Let us know if you want to find out more.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Would love to know more ;-) BTW, not sure how I missed TGN so added that to the post ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/MrThomasClark Thomas Clark

    Rightster are the 11th biggest network in the US (according to Comscore) and the largest news network in the Europe, all in under 8 months. Let me know if you'd like to know more.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MrThomasClark Thomas Clark

      Sorry 9th in the US http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2012/11/comScore_Releases_October_2012_U.S._Online_Video_Rankings

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      can you send me a link to a page of information about the YouTube network program for Rightster – not seeing an obvious path on the site.

  • http://twitter.com/thepetersens hans j petersen

    Big networks are everything that you tube is not, home spun programming should be just that home sprung. most of us would agree that when the networks get involved the quirky personality that helps a YouTube show connect with an audience is bleed off' the rough edges are warn off to produce a homogenized package product.

    You might say that networks are the antithesis of what you tube is all about.

    you sell your soul to become rich and famous, keep your soul and put your heart in your show. good luck Ill be watching

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