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.

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