|Headquarters||Culver City, California|
|Key people||Ben Donovan (President), Lisa Donovan, Ynon Kreiz (Chairman)|
|Parent||The Walt Disney Company|
Maker Studios, Inc. is an American worldwide multi-channel network co-founded by Lisa Donovan, former chief executive officer Danny Zappin, Scott Katz, Kassem G, Shay Carl, Ben Donovan, and Philip DeFranco. Shane Dawson was also involved with Lisa Donovan and Shay Carl during their collaboration on The Station. On March 24, 2014, Maker Studios, Inc. agreed to sell itself to The Walt Disney Company for $500 million, which could rise to $950 million, if financial milestones are met. On April 14, 2014, however, Relativity Media submitted a competing bid of up to $1.1 billion, but Maker denied the bid.
Key people of Maker Studios
Courtney Holt is the current COO of Maker Studios. Due to Danny Zappin stepping down as the company's CEO, Ynon Kreiz, former CEO and Chairman of Endemol became the CEO of Maker Studios in May 2013. Prior to Kreiz becoming the CEO of Maker, he was the company's chairman. Ryan Lissack is the current CTO of Maker Studios.
Maker Studios produces videos for channels on YouTube, including Tessa Violet, Bart Baker, KassemG, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Otakus Cabreados, Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist's Epic Rap Battles of History, along with several others that have almost as many viewers as Nickelodeon. Maker's first three channels produced for YouTube included Maker Music Network, Tutele, and The Mom's View, with both Maker Music Network and Tutele channels shutting down within six months of their launch. In April 2012 Maker Studios partnered with Mike Tompkins. Maker Studios have also signed celebrities such as famous rapper Snoop Lion and his YouTube channel WestFestTV, actor Robert De Niro's Tribeca Enterprises, and Kevin Smith. Felix Kjellberg (a.k.a. "PewDiePie") is also signed under the Maker Sub-Network Polaris, but his content is separated from his main channel as well as the let's play webseries, Game Grumps.
In June 2012, Maker Studios announced that the over 1,000 channels signed under the network received an accumulated over 1.1 billion views for the month of June 2012. YouTube channels under Maker Studios have also collectively earned over 90 million subscribers. In October 2012, Maker Studios surpassed Machinima to become the number one independent YouTube network. However, since that time, according to comScore, in December 2012, Fullscreen passed Maker to become the top ranked YouTube-based network. In December 2012, shortly after the Ray William Johnson controversy, Maker announced that it had closed a $36 million round of financing led by Time Warner Investments. The most popular Maker production is Epic Rap Battles of History, which averages 30 million views an episode. Maker's most successful channel is Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie), signed under the Maker sub-network Polaris. PewDiePie's personal channel is also the most subscribed on YouTube.
Outside of the US, Maker has built significant audiences in the UK, Brazil and Australia, and aims to expand its Asian operations where it generates 700 million monthly unique views. Run by Rene Rechtman, President for International, Maker is building a headquarters in London for its commercial, production and marketing activities outside of the US. An Asian hub has been established in Singapore, offering limited commercial and marketing support until the business is larger.
Ray William Johnson dispute
Maker Studios formerly produced Ray William Johnson's Equals Three and Your Favorite Martian. In October 2012, Johnson announced he would be leaving Maker Studios in an episode of Equals Three. Johnson had also formed his own production studio, Runaway Machine (formerly Runaway Planet). Ray William Johnson has stated online that he left Maker Studios due to the pressure the company put on him into signing a contract which gave Maker a 40% share of his channel's AdSense revenue and 50% of his show's intellectual property rights. Johnson stated that they were using "thuggish tactics" to pressure him into signing the contract, one of which was allegedly leveraging his AdSense account for the intellectual property rights to YourFavoriteMartian. He also claimed that Maker Studios CEO, Danny Zappin, is a convicted felon, a charge which Zappin later publicly admitted to.
Maker Studios started a sub-network called Maker Music. The network specializes in undiscovered music, online and offstage.
Formerly known as The Game Station, Polaris is Maker's sub-network for video game culture. It includes channels such as PewDiePie, JonTron, Game Grumps, Markiplier, Dodger, Jesse Cox, The Gamer from Mars, SomeOrdinaryGamers, The Yogscast, John Bain, Wartek, Wowcrendor, TheCreatureHub, TheBajanCanadian, TheRunawayGuys, Shofu, Arin Hanson, Larry Bundy, Jr. and CaptainSparklez.
A sub-network designed to promote small or growing channels. Originally called RPM Network but is now called MakerGen from July 2014 onwards
- Todd Spangler (June 26, 2013). "Maker Studios Founder Danny Zappin Sues Company Over ‘Ouster’". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- Eriq Gardner (June 26, 2013). "Maker Studios Power Struggle Detailed in Former CEO's Lawsuit". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- Laura Sydell (June 18, 2012). "Lights, Camera, YouTube: Studio Cashes In On An Entertainment Revolution". NPR. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Claire Cain Miller (April 10, 2011). "Actors in Smaller Studios, Making Pictures for the Smaller Screen". New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- "DRAW MY LIFE - Philip DeFranco". The Philip DeFranco Show. YouTube. April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
- David Doe (August 28, 2009). "YouTube Stars Join Forces for "The Station"". TubeMogul. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Fritz, Ben (March 25, 2014). "Disney to Buy Online-Video Network Maker Studios - WSJ.com". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 25, 2014. (subscription required (. ))
- Barnes, Brooks (March 24, 2014). "Disney Buys Maker Studios, Video Supplier for YouTube". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
- Spangler, Todd (14 April 2014). "Maker Studios Says Disney Acquisition Is Approved by Shareholders, Who Reject Relativity Bid". Variety. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- Glenn Peoples (October 31, 2011). "Courtney Holt, Former MySpace Music President, Named COO of Maker Studios". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Peter Kafka (May 7, 2013). "Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin Steps Down, Replaced by Endemol Vet Ynon Kreiz". All Things D. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
- Daniel Miller (June 26, 2012). "Ynon Kreiz Joins Maker Studios as Chairman (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Michael Carney (April 10, 2012). "Maker Studios Hires Former Salesforce Exec Ryan Lissack as CTO". Pando Daily. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Chaz Kangas (March 1, 2012). "Maker Studios Is Flush With YouTube Cash". LA Weekly. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Mike Shields (February 15, 2012). "YouTube Natives Topping Big Names Early On Mom, science channels off to solid starts; eggheads, Demand Media struggle". Adweek. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Daniel Miller (January 11, 2012). "Maker Studios". Hollwood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Michael Humphrey (November 7, 2011). "Maker Studios: The YouTube Savants Talk Channel Expansion". Forbes. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Glenn People (April 3, 2012). "Exclusive: Maker Studios Partners With Mike Tompkins in 'Long-Term Artist Development' Deal". Billboard. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Marc Graser (July 30, 2012). "'Fistful' of online content". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- Drew Baldwin (June 29, 2012). "EXCLUSIVE: Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin On Signing Snoop Dogg". Tubefilter. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Daniel Frankel (June 29, 2012). "Maker Studios fires up Snoop Dogg partnership". Paidcontent.org. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Joshua Cohen (May 2, 2012). "Robet De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises Partners with Maker Studios on YouTube Channel". Tubefilter. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Joshua Cohen (January 14, 2013). "Kevin Smith Signs with Maker Studios". Tubefilter. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Joshua Cohen (May 31, 2013). "Introducing Tubefilter Charts, Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels This Week". Tubefilter. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Graser, Marc (January 8, 2013). "Maker Studios Hits Reset on The Game Station, Renames it Polaris". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Joshua Cohen (June 30, 2012). "Maker Studios Gets One Billion Views ...a Month". Tubefilter. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Matthew Manarino (June 28, 2012). "MAKER STUDIOS: 1 BILLION YOUTUBE VIEWS IN ONE MONTH [EXCLUSIVE]". NewMediaRockstars. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
- Benny Luo (October 19, 2012). "UPDATED: MAKER STUDIOS BEATS MACHINIMA — NOW RANKED THE #1 INDEPENDENT YOUTUBE NETWORK ON COMSCORE". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Ed Carrasco (January 15, 2013). "FULLSCREEN NOW THE #1 INDEPENDENT YOUTUBE NETWORK ACCORDING TO COMSCORE [INTERVIEW]". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Ryan Lawler (December 20, 2012). "With 2 Billion Video Views A Month, Maker Studios Raises $36 Million Round Led By Time Warner". Tech Crunch. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Degen Pener (March 11, 2013). "SXSW: Maker Studios Execs on Turning Down TLC and How Mobile Views Threaten Revenue". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Stuart Dredge (July 8, 2013). "50 Million People Watch This 23-Year-Old Swede's Videos On YouTube, Making Him Bigger Than Psy, Miley Cyrus, And One Direction". Business Insider. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
- "Top Subscribed Channels". STATSHEEP. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- Will Haskins (June 4, 2014). "Maker Sets Sights on Asian Talent". Media Business Asia. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
- Ray William Johnson (October 16, 2012). "WORLD'S GREATEST NINJA!! - Ray William Johnson". Equals Three. YouTube. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Logan Rapp (December 11, 2012). "Maker Studios And Ray William Johnson Battle". SourceFed News. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Sam Gutelle (December 11, 2012). "Maker and Ray William Johnson Still Feuding As Backstory Is Revealed". Tubefilter. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Sam Gutelle (November 27, 2012). "RayWilliamJohnson Starting His Own Studio With Help From Julian Smith". Tubefilter. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Ray William Johnson (December 11, 2012). "RAY WILLIAM JOHNSON: Why I Left Maker Studios [EXCLUSIVE]". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Editorial Staff (December 11, 2012). "BREAKING: Maker Studios CEO Sends Company-Wide Letter Addressing Ray William Johnson Allegations". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved December 24, 2012.
- Joshua Cohen (December 12, 2012). "Maker Studios CEO Sends Letter to Employees, Addresses Past and Ray William Johnson". TubeFilter. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Tessa Stuart (January 10, 2013). "YouTube Stars Fight Back". LA Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- Gutelle, Sam. "Maker Studios Will Organize All Of Its Partners Across Four Huge Units". TubeFilter. TubeFilter. Retrieved December 21, 2013.