|Headquarters||Culver City, California, United States of America and France|
(Head of Maker Studios)
Ryan Lissack (CTO)
(Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media)
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, which Dawson described as a "cult", where very strange acts would happen.
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.
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.
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). 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, which he was not made aware of, when teaming up with Maker Studios. Zappin later publicly admitted to this claim.
On March 24, 2014, Maker Studios, Inc. agreed to sell itself to The Walt Disney Company for $500 million, rising to $950 million if financial milestones were met. On April 14, 2014, Relativity Media submitted a competing bid of up to $1.1 billion, but Maker denied the bid. In December 2015, the company became a subsidiary of Disney Consumer Products and the Disney Interactive division of The Walt Disney Company.
Courtney Holt was the Chief Strategy Officer 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. In December 2015, Courtney Holt replaced Ynon Kreiz as CEO, coming a year after Disney's acquisition of the group.
Maker Studios produces videos for channels on YouTube, including Consider the Source, Tessa Violet, Bart Baker, Yves Bole, KassemG, Timothy DeLaGhetto, Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist's Epic Rap Battles of History, Sam Macaroni, 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 2014 Maker Studios partnered with Blastphamoushd Gaming. Maker Studios have also signed celebrities such as famous rapper Snoop Dogg and his YouTube channel WestFestTV, actor Robert De Niro's Tribeca Enterprises, and Kevin Smith. Felix Kjellberg (known as "PewDiePie") is also signed under the Maker sub-network Polaris.
- RevelMode is a network backed by Maker that was started by Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) alongside CutiePieMarzia, Kwebbelkop, Jelly, Markiplier, CinnamonToastKen, Dodger, The Adrid Family, EmmaBlackery, EvanTubeHD, KittiesMama, Jacksepticeye, Cryaotic and PJ Liguori. (Most of the gamers on this sub-network were originally on the Polaris sub-network before RevelMode was created)
- Maker Music: Maker Studios started a sub-network called Maker Music. The network specializes in undiscovered music, online and offstage.
- Polaris: Formerly known as The Game Station, Polaris is Maker's sub-network for video game culture. It includes channels such as PewDiePie, Cryaotic, VEGETTA777, ALexBY11, SlyFoxHound, Stampylonghead, IBallisticSquid, and CaptainSparklez.
- MakerGen: A sub-network designed to promote small or growing channels. Originally called RPM Network but is now called MakerGen. RPM Network was responsible for a large increase in Maker's overall views which continued with MakerGen. Maker Gen has two channel featuring shows on the Maker Gen YouTube channel, one is called Sup Maker Gen and the other is The Still Rendering Podcast.
- Todd Spangler (June 26, 2013). "Maker Studios Founder Danny Zappin Sues Company Over 'Ouster'". Variety. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
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- "DRAW MY LIFE - Philip DeFranco". The Philip DeFranco Show. YouTube. April 10, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
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- Sam Gutelle (November 27, 2012). "RayWilliamJohnson Starting His Own Studio With Help From Julian Smith". Tubefilter. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
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- Barnes, Brooks (March 24, 2014). "Disney Buys Maker Studios, Video Supplier for YouTube". 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 CEO of Maker Studios, Maximillian DeStefano, stock marketer for maker". 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.
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- Drew Baldwin (June 29, 2012). "Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin On Signing Snoop Dogg". Tubefilter. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
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- 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.
- Graser, Marc (January 8, 2013). "Maker Studios Hits Reset on The Game Station, Renames it Polaris". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- Gutelle, Sam. "Maker Studios Will Organize All Of Its Partners Across Four Huge Units". TubeFilter. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- Graser, Marc. "Maker Studios Hits Reset on The Game Station, Renames it Polaris". Variety. Retrieved 2016-03-06.