Disney acquires YouTube-based video supplier Maker Studios

Disney is adding a sizzling new entity to its magic kingdom: a leading network on YouTube. In a $500 million deal that validates the mainstream influence of homespun content creation, Disney has signed on to purchase Maker Studios — one of the biggest networks on the Google-owned, video-sharing site. All told, Disney could cough up an additional $450 million to Maker if the network reaches certain growth milestones by the time the deal closes in Disney’s third fiscal quarter, reports The New York Times.

The Walt Disney Company said it had completed a deal to pay $500 million to acquire 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 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.

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