The Rise of Multi-channel Networks

The broadcast and journalism industry is under a tremendous amount of disruption, but it may be a different type of disruption than you originally thought.  Since the dawn of the industry, the model has been to develop compelling content, aggregate an audience, and sell advertising to pay for the content creation and syndication.  The advent of digital saw a shift of where the audience spent time, but revenue was still created by selling advertising direct or leveraging platforms like Google AdWords or Amazon's Affiliate programs.  Over the last few years, digital platforms like blogger and YouTube have created a democratization of content creation.  Anyone with a great idea and some initiative can develop content and aggregate an audience.  Because it’s driven by the creator, negotiation of advertising revenue has lost sophistication - driving advertising costs down.  This democratization of the industry has made it so advertisers can reach their audience with little investment and the idea of creating a major corporation around this process is no longer viable.  This fact has been proven by the recent losses and layoffs in the industry, such as the recent layoffs and revenue issues with ESPN - a major network with well followed traditional and online channels.

Since the industry is in a state of disruption, the best thing to do is identify the drivers of the disruption and embrace them.  Power is moving away from the media conglomerates and into the hands of the individual creators.  Advertising revenue continues to fall as more outlets become available that will accept discounted rates.  Brands continue to look for ways to engage with their audience and have become disenchanted with normal advertising channels.

These facts place a question for discussion - is there a way to create scale and achieve a profit in new media?  We think there is and it finds its roots in the initial creation of the movie business.  Creators can unite together and work as a collaborative to help each other perfect their craft.  The creators can leverage co-op based studios, tools, and resources to lower their overhead.  The creators can own their content and hire professionals to negotiate use of their skill and the syndication of their intellectual property.  This concept is brought together in a Multi-channel Network.

A multi-channel network is a central organization that brings together creators.  The creators still own their individual channels but allocate a percentage of their revenue to get access to a multitude of opportunities.  The opportunities range from peer roundtable discussions, cross-channel promotion opportunities from other creators, access to professional studios/equipment, professional help with the monetization of your channel, and collective bargaining power for the best advertising rates normally reserved for highly trafficked sites and properties.  The network also brings an added bonus of talent representation for custom content.  The network actively looks for brands that need custom content or influencer type marketing and matches them with talent within the network's pool.  In some cases, the network will also provide special access to events like field-level passes to NFL games, behind the scenes access to celebrity galas, or other items that help the creator extend their brand.  In short, the network provides a conduit for creators to work as a collective and help each other increase their individual brands and revenue.

At United Cities Productions we believe in the power of the individual creator!  With our foundation in Radio, we have been fortunate work with many talented individuals.  We have transitioned our company to include talent management, network facilitation, influence marketing and custom content creation.  We feel like we are in a unique position to bring together a collection of creators and help them succeed.  We have studios across the state of Florida and have access to the majority of major sporting events and community galas.  Contact our team to see how you can join our network!