As many of you know, we write regularly about MCNs (multi-channel networks). But, just in the past few months—reflecting how fast things are moving in this space—the relevant lexicon has changed.
You see, several of the leading digital-first video networks formerly known as “MCNs” no longer answer to that name/acronym. They prefer (justifiably) the new significantly expanded label “MPN”—as in, multi-platform network.
What’s in a name?
In this case, a lot! “MPN” connotes mass distribution of videos across multiple distribution platforms—not just YouTube. While these mobile/Millennial-focused new media companies initially birthed and aggregated their videos as channels on YouTube only (hence, the moniker “multi-channel” networks), now YouTube is only one of many (to be sure, still the most critical one). The new MPN game for many is to initially build mass audiences on YouTube, but then take those audiences—and monetize them—off YouTube. That’s why these MPNs seek the widest spray of their video programming across the widest array of distribution platforms (including the likes of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Vessel, Xbox—just to name a few).
Call it simple evolution in the over-the-top (OTT) video world. Just like Webster’s continuously expands to meet the changing language of the times, the OTT video and digital media/tech dictionary expands to more accurately reflect movement in the overall space.
And, significant meaning in that movement there is . . .