Recently we were asked what we thought of YouTube networks and what they’ve done for us, so we did a short little write up here.
The YouTube ecosystem is apparently dependent on networks to keep the channels under their wings in check. There’s no doubt that in most circumstances channels will endevour to get partnered with a network to help themselves grow, and I’m sure its true that many channels have indeed benefited from such partnerships, but there’s no doubt in my mind at all that many channels simply join on to a network and leave it at that, not availing themselves of the perceived benefits. Our own channel is one of the latter, we joined with RPM in April of 2013 and aside the availing our self of the audiomicro library [which is very very useful] we’ve had no contact from our network and neither have we sought to contact them.
You have to ask yourself “what are we getting out of being partnered?” and the answer is, not a whole lot. Sure, there are some features that being partnered will let you avail of. For instance RPM allows channels to create t shirts etc to allow your viewers to purchase and gives some useful charts and graphs for your channel and monetization as well as a helpful forum should you find need for it. But, and this is the gloriously pristine but, is that worth nearly half of your revenue for? if our channel made any revenue I would have to say no, its not.
I think many channels fall into the perceived notion that joining a network is the natural progression of content creation on YouTube and in doing so end up partnered at a much too early stage. I often argue with myself on whether we did indeed join at the right time, the conclusion I more than oft come to is yes, we joined before we knew what we were doing. I like to think we’ve come a long way since then in terms of video quality and enjoyability but I cant honestly attribute any of that to being partnered. Had we not joined with our network I’m fairly certain our content would have been more or less the same, albeit with different audio tracks [Kevin MacLeod] and with a longer period between videos.
For many, joining a network is something they “need” to do to upload monetized game footage etc, but there were other methods of acquiring permissions from publishers/developers. This begs the question “are networks necessary?” Perhaps, perhaps not, I think I’ll leave that conclusion up to someone who has a lot more insight into the entirety of the situation than I myself have.