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Siobhan Freegard on building an MCN ‘by moms, for moms’

Siobhan Freegard started a digital hub for mothers.


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Posted on Feb 22, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 11:50 am CDT


Siobhan Freegard started Netmums, a digital hub for mothers, when she was a new mom and realized there weren’t any websites out there specifically for mothers (as you can imagine, that was a while back—her kids are a lot older now). Thus, U.K.-based Freegard’s online community (“built by moms, for moms,” she explained) grew to its current state as an established forum, resource, and outlet for mothers. She decided it was time to “hand Netmums on to an experienced team who can manage and nurture it going forward.”

So Freegard needed a new project, one that came about in part due to an Internet experience she had with a younger mom that showed her the immense popularity of online video for millennials—including millennial moms. Hence the birth of Channel Mum, an MCN that follows in the footsteps of Netmums (“by moms, for moms”), but takes the form of videos on YouTube instead of written words.

Who were some of the mom creators who inspired you to do this?

In all honesty, it wasn’t a creator who inspired me. It was three separate things. Firstly, watching my children following the big gaming vloggers, such as Pewdiepie and StampyLongHead, gave me a window into the world of YouTube creators, but I initially assumed it was all for kids. Then, I had a light bulb moment when I observed the difference in reactions from me (in my forties) and a younger mom friend (in her late twenties) when we were searching for a recipe together. I went to the text-based results, and she went to the video results. My thoughts were, “I don’t have time to watch a video,” whereas hers were, “I don’t have time to read all those words.” It was my realization that the way we want our information has literally changed in less than a generation, from text to video.

And finally, when I went to do an audit of mom content on YouTube, I was both shocked and inspired by the chasm between the huge amount of content, creators, destinations, and networks in all the other sectors: food, beauty, music, sport, tech, and that created for or by moms.

There are some great mom creators, but (in the U.K., anyway), they are very fragmented and there is no route for viewers to find them. The YouTube search engine doesn’t offer any confidence—try searching breastfeeding on YouTube, and you are drawn into a world of, at best, odd and, at worst, thinly disguised X-rated content.

YouTube audiences have grown up and are having kids, and we need to fill this content gap for millennial moms.

Read the full article on the VideoInk website.

Photo via Alli Worthington/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Feb 22, 2015, 11:00 am CST