Disney Agrees to Buy Maker Studios for $500 Million

Mar 25, 2014 • Business, Entertainment
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maker-disney-combo-logosWhat do you get when you take the rapid growth rate of a YouTube production studio and combine it with the watchful eyes of media powerhouse, Walt Disney Co?

You get the story of Disney’s acquisition of Maker Studios, and an impressively hefty purchase amount of $500 million. As part of the deal, Disney will acquire all technology, content, and experience built up by the local Culver City-based media company.

The $500 million deal, with a potential $450 million “performance bonus,” could be the Walt Disney Co’s largest jump into the world of short-form media to date; impressive for a company ubiquitously known for full-featured, family entertainment.

We mentioned how fast Maker Studios’ growth has been, but how quick exactly? Something to the tune of 55,000 channels, 380 million subscribers, and 5.5 billion views a month across their network on Google, Inc.’s YouTube. All within a few short years since Makers’ founding in 2009.

Some insights by Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chairman and chief executive officer into Disney’s intent for getting involved in the short-form media space:

“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.”

The acquisition is considered one of Disney’s largest to date, since their $4 billion purchase of Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2012. Other high-profile purchases within Disney’s portfolio include $563.2 million spent in 2010 on mobile game maker Playdom, and the $350 million spent in 2007 for Club Penguin online world.

Tim Wut

Tim Wut was once in pursuit of a paper-laden career in bankruptcy law. He now writes for TechZulu, covering startups and founder stories. He explores the inspiration that drives entrepreneurs and shares lessons learned in the startup trenches. Writer by trade, storyteller at heart.

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