Imagine going from starting a small YouTube MCN to being the CEO of the biggest MCN on the continent. That’s Brian Ruhe, the CEO and co-founder of the eclectic MCN Divimove. With over 1300 creators signed and roughly 300 million views a month across their channels, Divimove is a dominant force on the European YouTube scene — and is likely moving in the direction of becoming a major force worldwide. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Divimove has an assortment of talent from many European countries including MrTrashpack (Germany), Tomorrowland (Netherlands), FancazzistiAnonimi (Italy), MrVertez (Poland) and YellowMellowMG (Spain).
And though we’ve covered a few of these channels in one capacity or another, we were curious about what it is like to be the head honcho of an MCN on the rise. How diplomatic do you have to be? So we reached out to Brian and got the dirt about what exactly goes into being a CEO and how Divimove (currently ranked the 16th biggest MCN in the world on Social Blade) looks to optimize the trajectory of their MCN.
What exactly does a YouTube MCN CEO do on a daily basis?
Brian Ruhe: The most important daily task I have is trying to make the company better every single day. This means adding value to our partners and allowing for our team members to do their job properly. But this is true for everybody at Divimove, especially my two co-founders.
My founding partners and I built this company from scratch starting in early 2012. Today we are the biggest MCN in Europe with around 1,300 content partners. So another daily task is company building, managing the process of developing from three guys in a small back room to the leading MCN in continental Europe.
My job in particular is to add value to our partners in the areas of monetization and distribution. For this we are building our own solutions, cooperating with different partners and are always looking for new collaborations. As we are a European network operating in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany and France, a lot of networking, coordinating and communicating is necessary on a daily basis.
Does Divimove see an issue with European YouTubers signing with American MCNs?
No. We believe every talent should sign with the MCN she/he believes will add the most value to her/his career and of course YouTube channel. This initial assessment is crucial to the YouTuber and should be done in a diligent manner. In our opinion geographical origin of a MCN is not one of the main factors when looking at MCNs from a creator’s perspective. The competition amongst MCNs in general is the best thing that could have happened to creators. We, as MCNs, need to show that we really are essential in the online video ecosystem.
What’s your favorite YouTube channel outside Divimove?
My favorite YouTube channel outside of Divimove at the moment would be the AngryJoeShow. I am not a big gamer myself, but I really enjoy the format and the energy and commitment that is put into the creation of the show. If you are somewhat into games and can appreciate an angry humor style, I definitely recommend you check out the Video Game Angry Reviews.
How do you think the dynamic between creators and MCNs will change in the next few years?
In my opinion MCNs will have to work harder to attract top talent and this will lead to a professionalization of the relation between MCNs and creators. On the one hand, MCNs will have to enable top creators to achieve their individual set of goals. On the other hand, MCNs will figure out which creators they really want to work with. We think that the market will become more transparent which again will push true value creation for creators. The pure massing of channels into your CMS will not be helpful to any party involved, not the creators nor the MCN.
What’s the coolest experience you’ve ever had in life — your absolute best story?
The coolest experience has been and still is building Divimove with my two friends and co-founders. We went from working with our first few partners around 18 months ago to standing where we are today. I really enjoy building something that is changing parts of the media industry and will impact it even further. I have been raised with linear television, dominated by a few who decided what was produced and when it was broadcast, and now we have entered a time where we can experience the almost perfect meritocracy of content.
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