The Walt Disney Company said it had completed a deal to pay $500 (S$634) million to acquire Israeli owned Maker Studios, a YouTube-based video supplier that generates more than 5.5 billion views a month from a subscriber base of 380 million.
The purchase, by far the largest for what Hollywood calls a multichannel network, calls for Disney to pay another $450 (S$ 571) million if aggressive growth targets are met.
“Maker already has a very large audience that will only keep growing, and that is something that would be hard to build on our own,” said Kevin A. Mayer, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate strategy and business development.
Executive Chairman and CEO of Maker Studios Ynon Kreiz said that “Disney is synonymous with the best entertainment and is the ideal partner for us, strengthening our position as the leading player in online video.”
Maker manages roughly 55,000 YouTube channels, most of which provide a pipeline to young consumers for Disney’s characters and franchises. Disney is also counting on Maker to help it learn how to best interact with the raised-on-the-Web generation.