The Remarkable Journey of Maker Studios, from Back Yard Fun to Huge Disney Sale

By on 05/07/2014 7:34 PM @daisywhitney

Mega-popular YouTube channel Maker Studios recently sold to Disney for $500 million, but when the founders launched the company five years the goal was quite simple — make videos and share audiences. “We just liked making videos. We didn’t start it to sell to Disney someday; we were just a bunch of friends who liked hanging out,” says Shay Carl, a co-founder, in this interview with Beet.TV featuring four of the Maker founders. We interviewed them at the Maker Studios NewFront last night.

The co-founders recounted the early days of the company when it began in a back yard. “The idea was if we could come together and share audiences and build an infrastructure, we could all scale and build to where we are today. That was a proof of concept that if we leveraged everyone’s channels we could all grow,” Ben Donovan, co-founder, tells us. That notion of cross-pollination and sharing audiences played a large role in expanding the business that began with a comedy channel that quickly became one of the fastest growing YouTube channels.

Ultimately, the programmer was successful because it tapped into an underserved niche by delivering content online that viewers couldn’t find elsewhere, the founders say.

Earlier this week, Disney shared with investors its plans for Maker Studios as a distribution platform.

Recent Videos
image
SpotXchange Sells Majority Stake to European Broadcaster RTL for $300 Million

SpotXchange, the video ad tech company that provides a technology platform for publishers and broadcasters to sell advertising on an automated basis, has sold a majority of its shares to Europe’s RTL, the companies announced today. RTL, the giant broadcaster controlled by Germany’s Bertelsmann, ...

image
VICE News is “One of the Biggest Newscasts in the World”

In five months since its launch, VICE News on YouTube  is “one of the biggest newscasts in America and possibly the world,” says Brian Dietz, SVP of Sales in this Beet.TV session video.   He says that the network has over 650,000 subscribers on YouTube and has had 70 million views of its ...

image
Video Ads Perform Better On Mobile: Jun Group CEO

The booming video advertising segment stands an even better chance of ringing up success on mobile devices than it has on desktop so far. That’s according to one video ad platform boss. “Seventy percent of the video views we did were on mobile devices,” says Jun Group CEO Mitchell ...

image
Razorfish CEO: Paid Media Should Operate in Real-Time With Social

Paid, owned and earned media can work well on a real-time basis, and brands need to rethink both their allocations for paid media and the timing too, says Pete Stein, CEO of Razorfish, in an interview with Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Minds, for Beet.TV. “It used to be that paid media was ...

image
Maker Studios’ Jason Krebs: Collaboration Key for Brands & Creators

Collaboration with creators is vital for brands working with digital producers and talent, says Jason Krebs, Head of Sales at Maker Studios, in an interview with Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Minds, for Beet.TV. Maker Studios creates and distributes video content focused on millenials and its videos ...

image
Havas Dish Latino Digital Campaign Jumps to TV

Some brands are now migrating successful digital ads to the TV set, in a reversal of what was once the trend of repurposing TV spots for online video, says Rori DuBoff, Global Head of Strategy at Havas Digital, in an interview with Beet.TV. Havas recently launched a campaign for Dish Latino around the World ...

image
‘The Big Ideal’ Fuels Cross-Platform Content: Ogilvy’s Abby Marks

Nevermind your product, what do you stand for? That’s what OgilvyEntertainment’s senior strategy and operations director Abby Marks tells her clients, channeling her agency’s late founder. “David Ogilvy was always about research and treating the cons as an equal, thinking about ...

image
JWT’s Branded Content Approach Starts with Participation

Branded content is not an “if” for marketers; it’s a must-have, says Eric Weisberg, Executive Creative Director at JWT, in an interview with Beet.TV. To be effective, branded programming needs to deliver on the right combination of entertainment and utility. As an example, he points to work ...

image
Multi-Channel Network Collective Digital Studio Launches New Content for Purina

Los Angeles-based Collective Digital Studio (CDS) launched a new series of programming for its popular YouTube channel Petcentric as part of a recently minted deal with Purina, say Paul Kontonis, SVP in an interview with Beet.TV. That channel is now managed by CDS, which works with YouTube influencers to ...

image
Millennials Are Cool With Brands Changing All The Time: Initiative/IPG Study

Brands need to mimic the characteristics of millennial-age consumers to curry their favor, according to research, The Reset Generation, conducted by media agency IPG’s Initiative group. “Their expectations of brands are what they think people expect of them,” says Initiative’s US ...

image
If “Content Is King,” then “Distribution is Queen” as Paid Media is Essential,...

Mindshare, the media agency within WPP, has created some 250 branded campaigns for video and television over the past 9 years, says David Lang, Chief Content Officer and President of the agency’s entertainment division,  in this interview with Beet.TV  On the subject of viral video hits and paid vs. ...

image
Hearst is Building a “Netflix Model” Around Magazine Video Content

Hearst has just launched “CosmoBody,” a daily fitness show which is advertiser-free and is  being offered on a subscription basis.  This is the first of what will be a number of Hearst titles and Hearst partners who will be part of a new “Netflix model,” explains Chris Grosso, SVP ...

loader