Monetizing YouTube can be a good way to pull in an extra passive income stream on top of whatever benefit you get from your videos themselves. The typical way to monetize is, of course, through the YouTube integration of Google’s AdSense platform. Unfortunately, between automatic detection, zero tolerance banning and other common issues, some users are justifiably skeptical about linking their AdSense accounts with YouTube. There’s no shortage of horror stories relating to unexpected sudden bans and permanent, no possibility of appeal removal from AdSense.
Fortunately, there are other ways to monetize YouTube videos without becoming a YouTube partner and linking your AdSense account. You can use one of these five services, presented in no particular order.
Will they bring you as much money as AdSense? Who knows! The amount of money you can pull in with your videos depends highly on your videos, channel and promotion. One thing’s certain, however; using a third party monetization partner is much less risky than linking AdSense and possibly finding yourself permanently banned.
These five multi-channel networks are all viable alternatives to YouTube AdSense linking. To learn what YouTube has to say about MCNs, check out their
This is one of the fastest growing multi-channel networks on YouTube right now, and with good reason. The network offers surprisingly high revenue share, using both AdSense earnings and their own ad network to bring in revenue. They offer full support, monthly payments and a three month trial without a contract. Starting partners earn 80 percent of their revenue, with the additional 20 going to FilmSection themselves. With this money, FilmSection runs their own ad network and offers a range of tools to help you produce and promote content.
To qualify as a FilmSection partner, you must have at least 100 daily video views – that’s 3,000 monthly views – and a clean copyright strikes history. FilmSection takes copyright seriously, the same way YouTube does.
In addition to becoming a content producer with FilmSection, you can enroll in the recruiter program. Any channel that meets their guidelines and signs up through your referral link splits that 20 percent cut between you and FilmSection. Effectively, you earn 10 percent of anything the recruited channel earns, as long as that channel is a member of the FilmSection network.
FilmSection pays through Paypal for any balance over $1, but also offers bank transfers and Western Union payments.
AdRev works in much the same way as most other MCNs, but they have the backing of a large audio database, AudioMicro. This gives you, by default, access to a large database of free music to use in the background of your videos. In addition, AdRev gives you plenty of tools to use to optimize and promote your videos.
AdRev is unfortunately not very transparent from the new user perspective. They don’t list their revenue share percentages or their contract terms without beginning the registration process. They also require around 300 daily views to qualify, three times more than FilmSection. AdRev pays through Paypal with a minimum payment of $10, or by check with a higher minimum payment.
The initial impression BigFrame gives when visiting their site is one of deep multimedia focus. The whole page is animated, showing selections of content from their producers. With high production values and compelling imagery, they do well to sell the company before you begin to investigate. As they claim; they don’t try to monetize every channel. They focus on the best and brightest rising stars.
BigFrame focuses not on providing a monetization platform with some passive technology, but on offering resources and networking opportunities to help channels grow. They actively work to nurture and improve talented artists and content creators. As a consequence, they have a fairly limited selection of topics that qualify for their network.
Their four focuses are Wonderly, Polished, Outlandish and ForeFront. These are for innovative female producers, fashion-focused producers, LGBT producers and urban producers, respectively. If your channel qualifies for one of their topics, you can apply for that section individually.
BigFrame claims 40 percent greater earnings than AdSense monetization alone, which is plenty of enticement for some. Unfortunately, the requirements for getting into their verticals – and the terms of their contract – are strict. If you qualify, your channel can grow incredibly well with their support.
Fullscreen has the distinction of being founded by someone who worked within YouTube itself for some time, giving it a bit of a legitimate air that other networks have to work harder to build. As with every MCN, you are required to have no copyright violations or flags on your account. The network also provides tools to help you design and sell channel-related merchandise, something other networks don’t bother with. Fullscreen also offers a range of valuable insights and analytics tools to help optimize and promote video content.
Again, Fullscreen is not the most transparent network around. Contract terms and other requirements are unavailable at a casual glance, though you may be contacted by a recruiter as soon as you reach a level they’re comfortable with. They do seem to have rather low requirements these days, in an attempt to gather up as much varied talent as possible to provide a varied platform for their advertisers.
As with any network, be sure to read any contract you’re offered in detail before you sign. Chances are some of it is open to negotiation, particularly if you have a popular channel and the leverage to make demands.
Maker Studios is one of the larger networks available on YouTube, up there with specialist networks such as Machinima and FilmSection. The network has a similar focus on talent as BigFrame, but is more open to content from all genres. Again, the network has four subdivided channels, but they’re much more generic and open; Men, Women, Family and Entertainment. If your channel can broadly fit within any of these channels, you probably qualify to join their network.
In case you’re worried about the legitimacy of Maker Studios, you can rest easy; the network was acquired by Disney. This massively expands the resources, talent and monetary investment provided by the network. As such, the network has some of the highest CPM ads in the business. Contracts vary as well, with low-traffic channels receiving closer to a 60 percent revenue, while the most popular channels are upgraded to as much as a 90 percent take.
No matter what content network you join on YouTube, however, you need to continue to stay within the copyright rules while producing content on an ongoing basis. Without content, the network has little reason to support your channel. Still, some of these networks have the potential to pay significantly more than AdSense on its own.