YouTube Networks: 7 Things You Need to Know
7. Do your research. Interview people under the network.
Any prospective network should have no issues whatsoever putting you in touch with people so you can ask them about their experiences. Find people of similar size to your channel. Take them out to lunch. Ask them how their experience has been. What, if anything, would they change? Get a real sense of the vibe of the place before you throw your chips in – this is very important. You might negotiate a great deal, but if you’re not happy there, it won’t be worth it.
You should have a sense of what you need and what these networks can provide for you. This is very important because your relative influence in this negotiation depends entirely on this factor – if there’s nothing they can offer you, you’re in a very strong position. If you would rely on them for a lot of stuff, you’re in a weaker position, and will have to negotiate accordingly.
Don’t compare yourself to the superstars of the network. Instead, look at the entire range, and see how everyone, as a whole, is doing. Try and get a sense of the bigger picture.
Finally, a special bonus 8th thing reserved for people trying to actively leave their contracts right now or are so unhappy they want to terminate it. Check to see if there’s a termination clause in the contract. If there is, invoke it to the letter. If not, there’s still hope – lawyer up and get their opinion.
After all’s said and done, we think networks can be a major boost for content creators, and can be incredibly beneficial, provided said content creator does the legwork to make sure they understand their deal and that it’s a fair deal to begin with. These networks are not your friends – they’re potential business partners. Never make the mistake of confusing courtship with friendship. They want to bring you in – so make sure you’re doing everything you can to get a fair deal.
That being said, in our experience, the vast majority of people’s experiences with joining networks have been very positive. Just make sure you cover your bases so that if something does go wrong, you’re not screwed.
Good luck! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them below, and I’m sure the rest of the RocketJump community can chime in on their experiences as well.
p.s. Never give up your Facebook or Twitter. That’s your first point of contact with your audience. You should have full approval of everything that goes through those.
Edit: List of Networks
Based on some feedback I’ve gotten, it sounds like it’d be useful to know what’s out there. here’s a list of networks that are out there (I’m playing loose with that definition – some of these are less “Networks” and more “conglomerations of channels” or “record labels.” Some of these are also subsidiaries of other companies on this list.) If there are any I’ve missed, let me know in the comments section below.
ChannelFlip (Must have British accent)