Welcome to the Content Kingdom: Disney Buys Maker Studios

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In yet another sign of the growing importance of short-form, digital video content, Disney announced last week that they have purchased video producer Maker Studios in a deal that could be worth as much as $950 Million. So why would Disney, a very profitable corporate media behemoth, purchase Maker Studios? Here’s why: 

Access to a new demographic.

Maker Studios works with 55,000 different YouTube channels with 380 million subscribers. Maker’s stable of talent includes some of the most popular channels on YouTube including: LisaNova, Epic Rap Battles of History, and PewDiePie. These channels are enormously popular amongst teens and 20-somethings, a demographic Disney has struggled with.

Disney Interactive is Not Very Successful.

While Disney as a whole is very successful, last year they had several hit movies (“Frozen,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Monsters University,” etc.) and their theme park attendance is higher than ever, Disney Interactive continued to stagnate. Purchasing Maker gives Disney the robust digital presence that they had failed to create in-house.

New Talent.

Maker Studio’s roster of talent includes some of the most innovative creators currently working in the digital space. Disney now has direct access to those creators and should be able to use their talents now just on YouTube but in other Disney market segments as well.

Keeping an Eye Towards the Future.

While television and movies remain enormously popular, short-form video content has grown drastically in the last few years and may sometime in the not too distant future take its place alongside old media as one of the primary channels of content distribution.


Oh, and don’t forget that many of the channels that Maker partners with are enormously successful, and that by purchasing Maker, Disney gets to keep part of their revenue, and display ads for their own products on Maker content.

For more on the topic, learn about the rise of digital video consumption here.