What We Look for in a Great Channel

Lenore Sterner
May 10, 2023

What is our Criteria when Picking Channels to Sign?

At Adhesive Media, our mission is to build relationships that stick between the best creators and the best brands. We hand select every creator that we reach out to to make sure that they align with what our sponsors are looking for. 

How do we decide what makes a great channel? Where might a creator be able to improve for a channel to be “great?” Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our process and the main criteria that we consider when evaluating YouTube channels.

The 7 Basics

Here are the basic criteria that must be met for a YouTube channel to be ready for sponsorship opportunities with Adhesive Media: 

1. Channel Has Built a Large, Consistent Audience

Brands want channels that are large enough to drive measurable product sales. Generally, that means we are looking for at least 50K views for each episode on the channel within the first 30 days. Sometimes, brands will ask for view guarantees in their sponsorship deals, so it is important that the channel’s numbers are steady and their audience is consistently coming back to watch new content. 

2. Videos Are at Least 10 Minutes Long

A channel’s sponsored ad integrations should be smooth and natural. An ad shouldn’t take up too much of a video. When a video is at least 10 minutes long, that leaves plenty of time for a naturally integrated ad. 

3. Creator Is Not a Part of an Existing Talent Agency

At Adhesive Media, we work directly with creators to build lasting, sticky relationships. We prefer to work directly with creators (not managers or talent agencies) as that usually allows for quicker communication and helps us learn what brands they would genuinely like to work with.

Our creators are able to reach us any time by text or phone call to make sure the sponsorship process goes as smoothly as possible. When we have a direct line of communication with the creators, this makes it easy to act on new deal opportunities and address any problems very quickly.

4. Channel Has Consistent and Active Content

Sponsors are looking for channels that are active, meaning consistently at least two episodes per month. If an ad performs well with a channel, but they never post new content, there’s no opportunity for that sponsor to renew with them. Our goal is to have sponsors want to work with our creators again and again. 

5. Content Is Brand-Safe and Not Controversial

Brands aren’t going to want to partner with a creator if doing so could be bad for business. We always vet the creators we work with to ensure that their content is brand-safe. If a video could get demonetized on YouTube, it probably isn’t going to be safe for the brand to sponsor that video. 

We look for creators that treat their YouTube channel like a business and are always professional, on and off YouTube and other social media platforms.

6. Channel Is Based in the US With Content in English

The brands that we work with are looking for channels with high United States audience demographics. Generally speaking, creators that are based in the US have a higher percentage of their audience in the US. Practically speaking, most brands like to send samples, and it’s much easier to send samples to US-based addresses. Also, as these brands are looking to advertise in the US, it’s important that the prospective channel’s content is in English. 

7. Audio and Video Quality is High

Channels need to have high quality audio and video to make sure that they are showing any sponsored product in the best possible way. We look for channels that have clear, high quality video and crisp audio that’s easy to hear and understand. 

4 Attributes of Great Channels

What we’ve discussed so far is the minimum criteria for a channel to be ready for brand sponsorship. A channel with all those foundational attributes is more than likely a “good” channel. But what makes a “great” channel? 

1. Channel has an Enthusiastic Host With a Strong Personality

We look for channels that have a host that either appears on screen or a consistent voice used. When a host is enthusiastic and has a strong personality, they generally have a strong brand voice that works well for sponsorships. They also generally have a strong relationship with their audience, who keep coming back to watch and engage with their content.

2. Channel Has Done Sponsorships in the Past and Has a Strong History of Renewals

A channel’s sponsorship history gives us a view into how other brand partnerships have performed in the past. If a channel has done just a couple sponsorships, that’s good as there is a lot of opportunity to grow and brands have trusted them in the past. However, if a channel has had brands come back for multiple months of sponsorships, that is great since it’s an indicator that other sponsors saw a good return on their investment.

3. New, Up-And-Coming Channel

While sponsorship renewals are great, we also love to work with channels that haven’t done sponsorships yet, but have a fast-growing, large, and engaged audience. Channels like these are great since the audience doesn’t have sponsorship fatigue, and generally are supportive of the creator’s growth!

4. Audience engagement is high 

Engagement is calculated as a percentage of comments and likes to views per video. A high engagement rate helps us measure the relationship between the audience and the creator by showing how invested the audience is in the creator’s content. 

Great channels actively respond in their comments sections and they get a lot of positive feedback on their videos. A channel that has a bunch of angry people in the comment section likely won’t do well for sponsorships. We highly suggest that hosts respond in the comments, as it’s a sign of taking an extra step to invest in the relationship with their audience.

What Happens Next? 

Once we find and evaluate a channel we like, we’ll reach out to introduce ourselves and offer the channel the opportunity to work with us. From there, we’ll schedule an onboarding call with the creator to find out more about them, their channel, and their audience. At Adhesive Media, our relationship with the creator is important, so the onboarding calls are crucial to getting to know them.

Let’s work together.