Complex Media today announced that they’re launching a YouTube multi-channel network (MCN). While individuals are now able to get access to YouTube promotional and money making tools, multi-channel networks not only make that process a lot easier but typically add promotional support and often help channels in other ways because gathering together and helping channels grow is what makes an MCN work.
And while some MCNs do rely on YouTube for advertising, Complex Media should be able to bring a much more targeted, youth savvy approach to finding advertising for its MCN as well as more interesting forms of sponsorship. It’s not just hype when they say they’re leaders in what they do.
You may be surprised that I’m talking about advertising on a blog devoted to crowdfunding and direct-to-fan funding and revenue but I think it’s a valid way of monetizing your relationship with your fans on YouTube.
In fact, I think YouTube is at its best when it serves not only as a distribution platform but as a platform for deepening your direct relationship with your fans beyond simply sharing music videos. And if you are using it as a direct-to-fan platform, then however you monetize it is based on the audience you draw, just like Complex Media does.
Here’s the bulk of their official announcement:
Complex Media, the leading lifestyle brand for urban millennial males, has today announced the launch of its official YouTube Multi-Channel Network (MCN) in order to expand and diversify the company’s reach across several niche verticals including pop culture, music, men’s fashion, sneaker culture and sports.
40 YouTube channels are currently on board including Tony Hawk’s RideChannel, VladTV and the official Complex Magazine channel with a collective reach of 6M subscribers and 3.3B lifetime views. Combined with Complex’s existing YouTube presence, the foundation of this MCN will allow creators operating in niche verticals to generate significant revenue on the platform via larger media buys coordinated by Complex’s seasoned sales team.
Complex Media will also source talent for original video programming from its own network as well as from outside creators.
Video GM, Nathan Brown, said, “Our sales team has proven successful at amplifying campaigns across our publisher network of over 120 media brands on the editorial side. We are excited to provide the same opportunity for video creators across YouTube as well as Complex Media’s own publishing brands.”
Complex Media currently aggregates over 120M unique monthly viewers across their video platforms, and aims to continue this dramatic scale of viewership by targeting audiences seeking content focused on key millennial sub-cultural topics not offered by other media brands.
All 23 current Complex original series as well as one-off productions will be funneled into the five verticals within the network including award-winning docu-series ‘Magnum Opus, ‘Riff Raff Realm’ featuring notorious rapper Riff Raff and Complex News, which produces 15 video news stories daily.
Complex Media’s own YouTube Channel subscribers are growing 25% and views growing 40% month-over-month since programming the channel with over 2500 videos beginning in January 2014.
I had an email exchange with a company rep and asked them about what they were looking for in new members. Here’s what they said:
“We are looking for influential voices appealing to youth culture across our core categories Music (inclusive of Hip Hop, EDM and Indie), Style, Sneakers, Pop Culture and Sports (including Action Sports). We are not always looking for the biggest subscribers or most views but the most influence and credibility in these topics.”
“We do not aspire to be a horizontal, broad reach network but a hyper-curated, curator of what’s cool to our culture. We are approaching the MCN in the same disciplined way we brought together ~100 of what we consider the most authoritative sites on the web and amassed one of the biggest, most influential media platforms for youth culture in the business.”
No scrubs allowed. But if you’re doing solid work and getting a solid response from a small ideally hip audience then Complex could help you grow that a lot quicker. They’ve watched people like DJ Vlad grow their channels since fairly early in the days of YouTube so they know what a potentially big act looks like when its finding its legs.
Unfortunately I don’t have a link to where you apply. I assume they’ll post something on YouTube but I’ll update as soon as I have that info.
YouTube’s Help Center has more on monetization.