AdAge: Why So Many YouTube Networks Are Hosting Their Own NewFronts Events

Commonly called YouTube networks -- or multichannel networks (MCNs) in industry parlance -- online video companies like Collective Digital Studio, Fullscreen, Machinima, StyleHaul and Whistle Sports have decided to host their own NewFronts presentations for the first time this year as a way to get advertisers up to speed on their businesses.

"The average online content creator today is typically nurturing their presence on at least five platforms in the social web," said Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos.

That has forced these online video networks to evolve their business models beyond ordinary ad sales. These companies started as ad networks of sorts. They signed deals with bunches of YouTube stars to package their channels together into bigger bundles to sell to advertisers, who wanted to buy ads on YouTube but were wary of those ads running alongside a video of someone's cat. The videos these creators were posting to YouTube had become the new TV shows for young audiences, and aggregating those channels made these companies the new TV networks.

"Google has some crazy number of partners on YouTube. The reality is they need companies like ours to organize that, to separate it and bring a marketing strategy around brands' top priorities. That's why we exist," said Reza Izad, CEO of Collective Digital Studio.