The Best YouTube Partnership for Small Channels

The Best YouTube Partnership for Small Channels

The Best YouTube Partnership for Small Channels

If you are a content creator seeking out the best YouTube partnership for small channels, this post is for you! Video sharing has become so popular that it seems like everybody has a YouTube channel. Occasional content sharing is normal in a world where almost anybody can upload a video to the internet. YouTube can also be monetized and used as a way to earn income.

Sometimes, a small channel can use a push in the right direction to break through and get from 5K subscribers to 50K. This is where YouTube partnerships come in handy. Partnering with a network can provide the channel and creator with major benefits compared to doing everything alone. Not everything is without trade-offs, so compromises have to be expected. Let’s explore some popular YouTube partnerships to determine the best YouTube partnership for small channels.

What is a YouTube Partnership and Why You Might Benefit from One

In simplified terms, a YouTube partnership is a business relation between a channel and a larger network, where some terms have to be met by a channel to receive benefits. The basic requirements which have to be met are:

  • Being from a country eligible for partnerships
  • Channel with more than 1000 subscribers
  • Having at least 4000 valid public views in the last 12 months
  • Having a linked AdSense account

These are just the minimum requirements that have to be met to become a partner and enable monetization. Once your channel has these requirements, a review process will kick-off. This is also important because a channel will not be viable unless they follow the community guidelines.

Public views are another topic worth discussing. This refers to views from public-only videos. Other videos, including unlisted videos, deleted videos, private videos, ad campaigns, and YouTube short stories do not count as public views. Keep this in mind if you have a channel where you primarily share unlisted videos with friends.

Following the minimum eligibility, one might start to consider the best YouTube partnership for small channels. These can range from various networks, large and small, not to mention YouTube itself.

Most of them have more requirements one has to meet, for example, 10000 monthly valid views, compared to the minimum of 4000. Some have even more requirements, from a solid subscriber count to the content type.

Contract specifics depend on the channel and partner, where things like revenue share are discussed, as well as terms, such as how many times a product should be featured or whether specific videos about a product should be made. Not all of the contract specifics are available to the public.

Having a YouTube partner can increase view count, not to mention revenue, which is the ultimate goal of most professional YouTubers. Partnerships can also be costly, so it is important to know when to avoid them.

When to Avoid YouTube Partnerships

It might seem like a gift to find the best Youtube partnership for small channels, only to realize that after signing the contract, the channel and creator end up locked in an unfavorable contract.

As a result, there have been a plethora of stories in the past couple of decades where individuals and businesses were basically slowed down or put out of business through bad partnerships with larger companies. To avoid this, here are a couple of tips on when to avoid partnerships.

The Channel is Already Doing Well

Doing well is a subjective term in this case. If one does not want to invest their life into YouTube as some professionals do, that is completely fine. In that case, having a partner will mean going from a casual YouTube release schedule where one used to share videos for the joy of it, to a relatively strict business schedule. This can result in consequences if not met.

For the casual YouTuber, there is no need for a partner unless they are looking to increase their view count and invest more time into YouTube.

If One is Not Ready to Seriously Invest Their Time

Starting a YouTube partnership with any network means investing time and money into the channel. That implies more working hours, stress, money spent on equipment and content, which essentially changes what used to be a hobby into a serious business. 

Schedules have to be met, as well as requirements, which also adds to that view and subscriber count anxiety. Partnerships are a serious matter and contracts should be read carefully, not to mention that the person running the channel should be completely sure if they want to commit to YouTube on a full-time basis.

The Best YouTube Partnership for Small Channels – List of Choices

YouTube logo on phone

Below is a list of potential candidates for the best YouTube partnership for small channels, along with the pros and cons for each one. 


Freedom! is great for starters because they offer very simple requirements which many are able to meet in terms of view count.


  • 1000 views per month
  • Copyright free music
  • Affiliate products
  • Can negotiate the revenue


  • 60% revenue for the user, 40% for Freedom!

YouTube Itself

While not necessarily a network, YouTube has great benefits as a direct partner. The benefits are not as extensive as with other partners, but they do offer some great services.


  • 100% revenue from ads
  • YouTube Audio Library


  • No exclusive features
  • 10000 views per month may be taxing for new YouTubers

Thoughtful Media

Thoughtful Media is relatively friendly to newcomers, but they do have some cons worth mentioning, for some, more impactful than others.


  • No application requirements
  • Referrals and channel-specific deals
  • No genre restriction
  • Live support


  • 75% revenue for the channel
  • Contract length, from one to two years


Remember those scary talks about contract hell? That isn’t an issue with ScaleLab who offer their deals without a contract. That in itself may scare some people but given their track record, it seems that their benefits outweigh the cons, especially for smaller channels.


  • No contract
  • 80% revenue which grows to 90%
  • No genre restriction
  • Support for multiple languages, meaning creator diversity


  • As a general partner, they excel in nothing in particular, which might not be the best option for specialized channels


Gaming channels are immensely popular and there are plenty of partner choices. Curse is one of the best networks based on what they offer to gamers. Keep in mind that the gaming genre is very competitive and some terms will be difficult to meet. Other than that, they could a good option when considering the best YouTube partnership for small channels (especially gaming ones).


  • 90% revenue for the channel, which is a lot, compared to most deals
  • Keys for games, as well as other gaming-related perks
  • A library of copyright-free music, which is especially important for gaming channels
  • No contract hell


  • High application requirements (8000 monthly views)


Fullscreen is great for more than just the average gamer channel. They partner with all sorts of channels and offer great perks in return. Everything has trade-offs, including Fullscreen, which must be considered when searching for the best YouTube partnership for small channels.


  • 500 subscriber count and HD video content as a requirement
  • Video uploads are not restricted to YouTube only
  • Libraries, tons of libraries
  • Assistance and collaboration perks


  • 70% revenue share, only
  • A contract of at least 2 years
  • 50$ must be earned per month, which will be deducted from the next month’s revenue, if not met

Disney Digital Network

When Disney acquired Maker Studios, one of the most well-known and arguably best YouTube partnership for small channels, they renamed it and rebranded to Disney Digital Network. As a huge company, they offer various benefits to their partners. Partnering with a huge company also has its requirements.


  • 2500 views per month as a requirement
  • Video promotion on their network if the videos are good by their standards
  • Benefits of partnering with Disney


  • Only 60% revenue share
  • 50$ have to be earned on a monthly basis
  • A 1 year contract


Machinima is well-known in the world of gaming. They offer their services to gamers and gaming-related channels only, but this comes with many benefits. Machinima, compared to others, has great perks, but they require dedication and effort.


  • 80% to 100% revenue, depending on the contract and channel
  • 1$ per month must be earned (this is a placebo requirement for any real channel with monetization)
  • Royalty-free music from a huge library
  • Not restricted to YouTube only
  • Amazing support and a good dashboard that is user friendly


  • A 3-year exclusive contract


As a TV network based in the Netherlands, they have access to many resources, making them a great candidate for the best YouTube partnership for small channels. Being a relatively large company, they also have some requirements.


  • No contract lock
  • All types of channels are supported
  • Audio library 
  • Gaming referrals
  • 70% revenue (less than some other partners on the list)


  • Net45 payment term
  • 8000 views per month might be a lot for new channels


An appropriate name given how often hashtags are used, Hashtag is a great network for upcoming channels. They offer a variety of perks to consider along with the network’s requirements.


  • Analytics tools
  • 70% revenue which can be increased
  • Many payment options
  • All types of channels
  • No lock contract


  • 10000 views per month
  • Net45 payment term

These are some of the best network partners for growing YouTube channels.

The Best YouTube Partnership for Small Channels – Summary and Tips

To summarize, YouTube partnerships can be beneficial for growing channels but they are not without their requirements and potential consequences. A growing YouTube business and channel should look at partners at some point if they want to continue increasing their channel’s numbers. Here are a couple of tips for the road:

  • Read contract and requirement details multiple times (contact a legal professional – I am NOT a lawyer or legal professional!!)
  • Be sure that you want to dedicate your time and effort to YouTube
  • Consider multiple choices for a partner
  • Do not be discouraged if your application is rejected
  • Continue making videos if that is what you love, partners will come and go

In conclusion, the journey to find the best YouTube partnership for small channels can be tough, but with these tips, it should be easier to select the right one or move forward without a partnership altogether.

Want to grow on YouTube? Check out this review of TubeBuddy vs. VidIQ here.

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Morgan is a recognized video marketing expert and content creator. She also runs a video production company and has a passion for teaching all things video.