Disney pays $500M for YouTube network that distributes gaming content like PewDiePie, TotalBiscuit
Mouse House also to offer performance-based payouts of $450 million, which means the deal could actually be worth around $950 million.
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The Walt Disney Company has acquired YouTube network Maker Studios for $500 million, with additional performance-based payouts of $450 million. All told, the deal could be worth $950 million.
Founded in 2009, Maker Studios distributes video game-related programming like PewDiePie, TotalBiscuit, and Yogscast, among many others. Writing on Twitter, TotalBiscuit said he's going to continue making the content he wants. If he's asked to change, he'll leave.
"Yup, Disney now owns Maker so also owns Polaris. No idea what this means for us, but I'll make the content I want to make or go elsewhere," he said.
Maker Studios' total YouTube reach spans more than 55,000 channels, 380 million subscribers, and 5.5 billion views per month. This makes the company a "top online video network for Millennials," Disney said in statement.
In acquiring Maker Studios, Disney gains "advanced technology and business intelligence" regarding consumers' discovery and interaction with short-form online videos, Disney said. CEO Bob Iger said short-form video programming is "growing at an astonishing pace" and by acquiring Maker Studios, Disney is poised to capture the market in a meaningful way.
Maker Studios will remain headquartered in Culver City, Calif. The deal is expected to close later this year, pending regulatory clearance.
Disney is not the first media conglomerate to invest in the short-form video space. Warner Bros. recently bankrolled game-specific network Machinima in a round worth $18 million.