YouTube Networks come up frequently in conversation about the YouTube community. YouTubers are always discussing them, joining them, leaving them, making them, complaining about them – but the question is, what the hell are they? So let’s dive right in and figure what they are and whether or not you should be looking to join one.
What the heck are they?
The term ‘YouTube Network’ can cover a variety of different organisations, but the general concept is that it is an organisation that brings YouTubers together and typically offers some kind of management, or help with earning money.
There are all kinds of Networks, of all shapes and sizes, including start-up/creator ran networks like the now shutdown RevelMode, which had been created by PewDiePie.
How do they work?
The general idea is that networks take YouTubers, which are all separate individual businesses, and combines them in order to make it easier to make deals with companies and provide management. There is usually also an idea that the network will be used to help YouTubers get in touch with each other and get to know more people within the online community.
The network generally approaches the YouTuber and asks them to join first in this relationship. Some networks are small and specialised, but many are large (too large, tbh) and have thousands upon thousands of creators on their books. These huge networks exist not so much to actually help their members, but more to be able to say that they represent thousands of creators, because that makes their business look good.
Should I join one?
This is a somewhat tricky question, and we’re currently working on a separate, more in-depth article that aims to answer it in detail, but for now it’s probably safe to say – no. YouTube networks only tend to be useful to larger YouTubers and even then they tend to favour the biggest of the big. If you have less than 50,000 subscribers, there is likely very little the network will actually be able to do for you, especially if it is one of the massive networks with thousands of channels on their books.
If you are a smaller YouTuber, you may find yourself locked in a contract with a network, yet not experiencing any tangible benefits. A good way to get the network experience when you are starting out, without actually having to join one, is to attend YouTube gatherings and conventions and/or join groups like the London Small YouTubers Group, which aim to bring creators together.
More information about YouTube Networks.
If you want to know more about individual YouTube networks, you can check out a handful of the biggest sites below, and let us know in the comments if there’s anything else you’d like to know about how these networks actually work: