5 reasons not to join an MCN on YouTube

Deciding whether or not to join an MCN (Multi Channel Network) can be a tough decision for any YouTuber.

There’s many things to consider and the thought of signing a contract with a network won’t suit everybody. In this conclusion to our two-part series (see part one here), Tube Chum shares five reasons why you shouldn’t join an MCN on YouTube.


What may seem like a good deal when you first join an MCN could end up with you missing out on a significant chunk of income.

Most networks ask for anything between 5% and 30% of your ad revenue. This could be a small fee when your channel is first starting out, but if your channel continues to grow the fee could become more significant and it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Considering Google already takes a slice of advertising revenue, some YouTubers may prefer to keep the rest of that income in their own pocket.


It’s always important to be careful when signing a contract with an MCN, especially if you’re joining one as a YouTube newbie. Your channel’s reputation and exposure could change drastically over a short period of time, which could make the partnership less beneficial to you.

Remember, there’s always the option to renew or extend the contract if you’re happy with the arrangement.

Another important factor to consider is the length of the contract you’re signing. Circumstances can change and three years later the MCN may no longer suit your needs as a creator. It’s usually advisable to agree a contract that is no longer than one or two years.

Remember, there’s always the option to renew or extend the contract if you’re happy with the arrangement.

Too many channels

When interest in joining an MCN first started to grow, there was a lot more on offer to creators because they were usually serving only a small number of creators. This made it possible for YouTubers to receive a personal touch from their network, as they would be one of the main focuses of the network’s time.

Many MCNs now have hundreds or thousands of channels contracted to their company, making it impossible for them to give each channel as much attention as they would ideally like. This could make it harder to get in-depth feedback and support for your channel.

Hank Green of The Vlogbrothers shares his thoughts on Multi Channel Networks.

False impressions

You may find yourself contacted by an MCN at some point asking if you would like to join their network and receive support growing your channel. Intrigued, you might take a look at their website and be impressed by the shiny design and professional logos.

Don’t let this fool you. It’s always important to look deeper into an MCN before signing on the dotted line. You may find that a network is either just starting out, or simply not offering as much to their creators as you would think. They will often approach hundreds of channels, including those with a small number of subscribers, with the hopes of expanding their catalogue.

It’s worth checking if there are any names you recognise on their list of supported channels.

Staying independent

If you don’t want to share your income and feel that you can grow and manage your channel independently, then there’s no real reason to join an MCN. Speaking to potential sponsors and arranging collaborations with other YouTubers are things you can achieve through networking, and if you make yourself easily available it becomes more straight forward for partners to contact you.

Many of the jobs that MCNs do for YouTubers can still be achieved on your own if you work hard enough.

It’s important to approach companies and other YouTubers yourself if you have ideas that you think would interest them. Whilst many YouTubers are now assigned to an MCN, there are still many that try to work independently.

Whether you decide to join an MCN or not, both options have positives that can help your channel long term. It’s up to you to decide which approach is best for you.

Make sure you also check out our list of 5 reasons you should join an MCN.

Have you joined an MCN? Let us know about your experience by tweeting us at @TubeChum.

Image source: Katie Killary

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Daniel Mackrell

Co-editor at Tube Chum
Journalist. Former Winchester Student. Chelsea fan. @WINOL Alumnus. Co-editor, @TubeChum.