Fullscreen Tries to Ditch the MCN Label While Branching Out From YouTube
Like many Web video networks born on YouTube, Fullscreen is trying to move beyond the label of “MCN,” or multi-channel network, and beyond the notion that it is a YouTube-centric company.
As Fullscreen hosted its first NewFront presentation in New York on Monday, it worked to emphasize both points. The MCN moniker implies that the company’s main business is to rep YouTube channels.
Many companies in the space resist that characterization. Machinima, which is also hosting its first NewFront, has tried to relabel itself a “many to many” platform,” for example.
Now Fullscreen is trying to emphasize its unique connection with individual creators and influencers–which it argues is more powerful for brands than just selling plain old video ads–and its ability to reach audiences on other social platforms, ranging from Vine to Snapchat.
The Wall Street Journal
“When we started, YouTube was the only thing that mattered,” Fullscreen chief executive George Strompolos told CMO Today. “Anyone can see there is almost a new platform every week that catches on fast with young people. So we want to build a world around our creators, with platforms almost acting like solar systems.”
He estimated that for many ad campaigns that Fullscreen executes, the best ones are anchored by original branded entertainment, and most now include activity on four to six different social networks. To drive home that point, during the show on Monday, Fullscreen executives brought several creators on stage, emphasizing one duo’s large Twitter following, another creator’s Insgram network, and yet another stars’ YouTube audience.
In that sort of landscape “Distribution strategy shouldn’t be wed to any one platform, otherwise you are shooting yourself in the foot,” he said.
It’s one thing for Mr. Strompolos to try and sell advertisers on the notion that in order to reach younger viewers, you need to connect with them via social influencers. It’s another thing for media mogul Peter Chernin to push that message.
Mr. Chernin, along with AT&T Inc., purchased a majority stake in Fullscreen last year. He was previously the president and chief operating officer at News Corp. and at one point oversaw Fox Broadcasting.
At Fullscreen’s NewFront on Monday, Mr. Chernin argued that the “bottom is simply falling out” of TV ratings for adults under at 34, and that young consumers “have no idea what channel they are watching,” when they consume content but have “enormous loyalty to creators.”