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
Yahoo Evolves Branded Content Approach with Tumblr

COLOGNE  – Yahoo has been involved in branded content for many years, but its strategy has evolved in recent months to become more tailored and also tumblr-centric, says Patrick Albano, VP and Head of Advertising Solutions at Yahoo EMEA, in an interview with Beet.TV. Yahoo purchased tumblr last year ...

image
Programmatic Video ‘Three Years Behind Display’: Videoplaza’s Muehle

AMSTERDAM – So-called “programmatic” techniques for controlling and targeting online ad trading are already revolutionizing sales of static display ads; but video is later to the ad-tech party. Display has been like this for a while. Video is two to three years behind,” London- and ...

518417638_1_648_367
HTML5 Video Caters To Savvy Scandinavians: Smartcom:TV’s Larssen

AMSTERDAM — Scandinavian consumers are ahead of the curve when it comes to technology adoption – and that means the video industry must cater for what is one of the world’s first mobile-viewing markets, says one exec from the sector. “We are early movers in the technical industry; our ...

518417263_1_648_367
Opera Sees HTML5 As Cure For Video Fragmentation

AMSTERDAM — Everyone knows how splintered the online video industry is. Opera Software, a veteran web browser maker, reckons TV can learn a thing or two from web standards. “The big problem in the TV market is, everything is fragmented,” Opera Software product management VP Frode Hernes ...

image
Data-Driven Advertising & Targeting Spur Online Video Spending, Forrester’s Joyce

COLOGNE, Germany — Data and addressability are two trends that are driving increased spending in online video, but also are posing challenges for the business, says Richard Joyce, Senior Analyst with Forrester Research, in an interview with Ashley J. Swartz, Founder and CEO of Furious Minds for ...

image
Premium And Long-Tail Video Are Blending: Brightcove’s Jain

AMSTERDAM — The highs and lows of video content production are colliding as amateur and pro-am producers start making output that looks increasingly good to broadcast execs. “One really interesting thing is the democratization of content,” Brightcove media SVP and GM Anil Jain tells ...

image
Programmatic Display Is Dress Rehearsal For Video: Trade Desk’s Green

COLOGNE — Static display banners may have been the first ad format to undergo the “programmatic” ad-trading revolution – but the spending there will be dwarfed by video’s adoption of the techniques, says one exec working in the field. “Display is essentially the dress ...

518414754_2_648_367
Video Ad Platform Videology Aims for Universal Mobile ID

COLOGNE, Germany —  The cookie-less nature of the mobile market is challenging for marketers, but video tech vendors are working closely with partners to overcome those inherent hurdles, said Jana Eisenstein, SVP Global Accounts at video ad platform Videology, in an interview with Ashley J. Swartz, ...

image
Xaxis’ Turbine Differentiated By Data: Grether

COLOGNE — GroupM’s programmatic ad-trading technology division Xaxis reckons its recently-announced Data Management Platform (DMP) – codenamed Turbine – one-ups rivals’, as video advertising booms. “We built it from the ground up … it allows us to get data that only ...

image
Some Clients Beat Agencies To Programmatic Video: Adap.tv’s Sherlock

COLOGNE — Advertising agencies usually act proactively to seek opportunities for their advertiser clients. But, in some parts of the world, advertisers may be dipping toes in programmatic trading waters unilaterally. “We’re still yet to see a lot of the actual agencies grab hold of ...

518417636_1_648_367
Mobile Video Ads Must Go Short And Get Out: Supersonic’s Salins

COLOGNE — TV ads may need to be re-cut in half before they are simply shovelled in to mobile apps, says one executive working at the sharp end. “The idea of putting a 30-second TV spot as a pre-roll or a CPV video in mobile is dying,” says app advertising group Supersonic’s European MD ...

image
TV, Online Video Collision Accelerating: Brightcove’s Gaydon

AMSTERDAM — TV and online video are colliding – and the result will benefit both sides, according to an exec at the epicenter. “We’re starting to see the convergence between the digital landscape and broadcast gather momentum,” video technology platform Brightcove‘s EMEA media ...

loader