If you follow the world of online video, then you have most likely heard about multi-channel network X closing a round of funding for some astronomical amount of money from investor Y. Chances are also pretty good that you have never heard of multi-channel network X — although they claim to be the biggest network in Ukraine — simply because they are an international MCN.
There is a perception among most would-be professional creators that living in Los Angeles is a requirement. Although many of the largest MCNs do call LA home, not all YouTube networks are US-exclusive. Overseas, dozens of MCNs are busy representing some of the best international talent on YouTube.
Currently, there are anywhere between 15–20 multi-channel networks operating within the United States. For most YouTube creators seeking representation, the US seems like the place to be.
However, successful creators are not solely US-based. In fact, among YouTube’s top ten most subscribed channels, two of them — PewDiePie and Hola Soy German — are based outside of the U.S.
The truth is, for many of us who follow online video (YouTube specifically), the MCN landscape is so US-dominated that international networks fly under most radars. To help with that undeniable fact, because we’re kind souls, here is a primer of the international MCNs you should know.
London-based MCN ChannelFlip currently has 19 million subscribers across its collective roster of talent. ChannelFlip represents dozens of YouTube creators and channels including Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) and Dan Howell (danisnotonfire). In 2012, ChannelFlip was acquired by Shine Corp, a subsidiary of News Corporation.
According to ChannelFlip, upon joining, partners can expect perks such as studio time, brand partnership opportunities, and rights management support. ChannelFlip produced YouTube’s UK portion of Comedy Week, which ran from May 20–25, 2013.
Receiving a combined 700 million monthly views over upwards of 1,000 channels, Base79 is Europe, the Middle East, and Africa’s largest multi-channel network. Base79 manages content for rights holders such as The Football Association, Ministry of Sound, and Domino Records.
Base79 also represents over 200 independent YouTube creators including R&B singer Alex Goddard. Former senior director of content at YouTube, Patrick Walker joined Base79 in 2013 to serve as chief operating officer.
Founded in 2011, Rightster is partnered with over 400 channels, which net around 70 million views a month. Although the company serves as an MCN, it also provides software solutions to help channels manage rights while deploying the best monetization practices.
Rightster counts London Fashion Week and The Guardian newspaper as content partners. According to the MCN, its primary partnerships are with those creating music, fashion, sports, and “viral” content.
Half production company, half network, Diagonal View partners with content providers like Reuters and Getty Images to produce and manage videos. The network also manages multiple third-party YouTube channels, providing “marketing expertise” and audience-building best practices.
Diagonal View produces up to 30 original pieces of video content in-house per week.
As India’s first multi-channel YouTube network, Nirvana Digital represents over 40 content creators producing primarily music. According to founder Pinakin Thankkar, the majority of YouTube content coming from India is Bollywood-related news and gossip. However, Thankkar has also expressed that although the YouTube community in India is growing, many creators have started developing original content outside of traditional Bollywood programming.
Nirvana Digital currently supports 141 YouTube channels, which have generated over 70,000 videos.
Currently YouTube’s ninth biggest multi-channel network according to comScore (US only), internationally, BroadbandTV claims to be the fourth largest MCN in the world. Representing more than 10,000 content partners,the Vancouver-based MCN announced that it had recently reach one billion monthly views on YouTube.
In June, BroadbandTV received a $36 million investment from RTL Group in exchange for 51% of BroadbandTV shares. The MCN is split into two separate brands, VISO, which handles general YouTube channels, and gamer-centric property TGN.