Disney Buys YouTube’s Maker Studios for at Least $500 Million

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Reuters has learned that Walt Disney Co is aquiring Maker Studios — one of YouTube’s largest networks — for $500 million. Disney said the price tag could rise to $950 million if Maker hits certain “performance milestones.”

The deal will help Disney draw more teens into its entertainment empire. “Maker producers target the younger millennial generation, known for its high appetite for online video,” reports Reuters. Maker partners with 24-year-old gamer, PewDiePie, YouTube’s single most-subscribed star with more than 25 million subscribers.

Disney’s CEO Bob Iger said in a statement, “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.”

Maker helps produce and distribute videos to more than 380 million subscribers worldwide across more than 55,000 channels. Its videos now collectively garner some 5.5 billion views every month, according to a Reuter’s source. The company was founded in 2009 and its backers include Time Warner Investments, Upfront Ventures and Greycroft Partners.

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