In a recent article, The New M&A Trend that is Shaking Up the Media
Sector, Forbes reported on M&A deals involving
mobile-driven, digital first content companies, a type of
transaction which is starting to dominate the M&A deal space.
Although the article speaks to several different trends in the
sector, it's noted that the most dominant trend involves an
uptick in multi-channel network (MCN) deals. The
value of these deals multiplied seven-fold between 2013 and
2014—from $200 million to $1.4 billion—and consulting
firms are saying these numbers will only continue to grow.
YouTube defines MCNs as "entities that
affiliate with multiple YouTube channels, often to offer assistance
in areas such as product, programming, funding, cross-promotion,
partner management, digital rights management, monetization/sales
and/or audience development." The consideration: a fair
chunk of the ad revenue from the channels involved. While
MCNs are not restricted to YouTube and can theoretically work with
any video platform, YouTube's exposure draws in most MCNs.
MCNs are therefore the middlemen between YouTube channels and
It's a win-win-win situation if done properly: the networks
want to help YouTubers succeed by building their brand and helping
them make more money which, in turn, makes the networks more money,
and the advertisers benefit from the consistent exposure of their
products to the right audience on popular YouTube channels –
all without having to do the legwork involved in finding worthwhile
YouTube channels to advertise on.
Recognizing this potential for greater efficiency and swift
monetization, larger, more traditional media companies are eager to
acquire these smaller, digitally innovative companies. Much
of the benefit appears to flow from increased access to the
Millennial consumer market. Specific examples noted in the
Forbes article include the capacity to leverage existing
intellectual property into new stories geared towards younger
audiences, direct engagement with movie fans leading up to
theatrical releases, and increased participation in the mobile
The Forbes article also introduced the following trends in
recent media deals:
the sharp decline in pay TV subscribers as stand-alone /
unbundled over-the-top services increase;
greater "global collaboration for content creation,
distribution, and monetization";
the transformation of beverage, hotel, and tech brands into
media companies; and
the pursuit of "niche audience strategy".
The author would like to thank Rika Sawatsky, articling
student, for her assistance in preparing this legal
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice. We provide
the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions
with a full business law service. We have more than 3800 lawyers
based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada,
Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central
Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all
the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy;
infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and
innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.
Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global
business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to
provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of
our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia,
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South
Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and Fulbright &
Jaworski LLP, each of which is a separate legal entity, are members
('the Norton Rose Fulbright members') of Norton Rose
Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein
helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright
members but does not itself provide legal services to
The content of this article is intended to provide a
general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be
sought about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).