So you’re a musician on YouTube — what now? Do you upload cover songs and pray that Sony doesn’t slam you with a copyright violation? Or do you stick to only uploading originals while constantly worrying that some good-for-nothing is stealing your track and uploading it elsewhere?
On second thought, scratch both of those options. Instead, why not join a multi-channel network? I know what you’re thinking: “I would do that, but I don’t know any.” Well, today is your lucky day pal-o-mine, because we’ve got you covered like carmel on an apple.
Behold! Five music-centric MCNs you should be aware of.
Don’t let the all-caps name fool you, INDMUSIC isn’t messing around. Sporting the title of “YouTube’s Largest Music Network” (according to them), INDMUSIC helps musicians on YouTube accurately monetize while protecting their rights as both cover and original artists. INDMUSIC has all the bells and whistles offered by most traditional MCNs, including access to detailed analysis of search terms and options for increased revenue through product placement and ad partnerships. INDMusic currently has 275 channel partners with an average of over 100 million monthly views.
Omnia sets itself apart from other music MCNs through its massive roster of superstar talent. While this network offers standard MCN services (ad revenue, rights management, content ID software), it also boasts partnerships with some of the biggest names in music, including Tyga, Talib Kweli, and Inna. But Omnia doesn’t only represent mainstream musicians, the network works with independent artists as well.
Audiam is still a fairly young service. In fact, the network is still in its beta phase. However, it’s run by two veterans of the digital music industry, Jeff Price and Peter Wells, co-founders of flat-rate music distributor TuneCore.
These are two guys who know music distribution and rights management. Audiam works less like an actual MCN and more like service provider that allows artists to upload their music. Audiam scans YouTube for any videos using those songs, authorize monetization on YouTube’s end, then split revenue with the artist 25/75.
ZEFR isn’t specifically a music-only MCN. The network actually works with some of the biggest brands on YouTube, including Sony Music, Nascar, Universal Pictures, and “Saturday Night Live.” ZEFR, using proprietary technology, helps manage content owners’ rights online. The network also recently launched BrandID, which tracks, in real-time, who is uploading, sharing, and talking about a given brand’s product. If a penguin in Antarctica uploads a video about how great the new Lady Gaga album is (penguins, big fans), you better believe ZEFR knows about it.
The Orchard didn’t start as a YouTube MCN. The company launched in 1997 originally as a music and film distribution platform. However, The Orchard has recently jumped in the world of YouTube, launching technology like B.A.C.O.N (Bulk Automated Claiming for The Orchard Network), which as the name suggests, helps partners find where their music is being uploaded to YouTube. Once those videos are found, The Orchard allows musicians and labels to monetize instantaneously.