Walt Disney buys YouTube?s Maker Studios for $500M

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After days of courting, Walt Disney Co. on Monday announced that it is finally buying Maker Studios for $500 million in its pursuit to get young viewers who are watching short videos online.

In a press release posted on their official website, Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney said, ?Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry with an unmatched combination of advanced technology and programming expertise and capabilities.?

With this, Disney is expecting that the company would gain advanced technology and business intelligence regarding the way consumer discover and interact with short form video.

?Disney is synonymous with the best entertainment and is the ideal partner for us, strengthening our position as the leading player in online video,? said Ynon Kreiz, executive chairman and CEO of Maker Studios.

Maker Studios, with over 55,000 channels, 380 million subscribers and 5.5 billion views per month is the leading source of online content on YouTube. It is a next-generation media and technology company and the world?s largest provider of online video content for Millennials.

Aside from the $500 million price tag, reports also said that the Walt Disney Co. agreed to pay up to $450 million more in bonuses if Maker would be able to meet performance targets. The Maker deal is Disney’s biggest acquisition since it bought “Star Wars” creator Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.06 billion in late 2012.

With this acquisition of Disney over Maker Studios, industry analyst Will Richmond, the publisher of Videonuze wrote, “Maker’s YouTube-centric DNA would give Disney valuable insight into how to extend its star-making machine to the still quite opaque online realm. But star-making is just half of the equation. The other, equally important half is mastering (and quite possible shaping) how online video distribution works, and what role YouTube will play.”

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive.


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