When Disney announced plans in March to buy Maker Studios for a record $900 million, it was a crystalizing moment for how much investors and media giants would be willing to spend on multichannel networks, some of the newest disruptors in the online-video market. There was only one catch: MCNs are part of YouTube's website and are not offered anywhere else. Although this doesn't necessarily limit media companies from promoting and creating popular content, some are reportedly balking at the idea of paying big dollars when YouTube gets the majority of views--and a big chunk of the advertising revenue.
But it's not just the big players that are looking for a way to increase their share of revenues. For smaller MCNs and for individual content creators, YouTube is a challenging place in which to turn a profit. Some new ventures, including JWPlayer and ILOOK, are looking to go beyond the multichannel-network concept entirely. For more on these trends, check out this FierceOnlineVideo special report.