Maker CEO Ynon Kreiz on Disney Acquisition: "It's Been a Great Honeymoon Period"
It's been nearly one year since Disney offered up to $950 million for the YouTube multi-channel network.
It's been nearly one year since Maker Studios agreed to be acquired by Disney for up to $1 billion acquisition offer and chief executive Ynon Kreiz says the partnership is off to a good start. "We're still in the honeymoon period," he said. "But it's been an amazing honeymoon period so far."
Kreiz, speaking at the Digital Entertainment World conference on Tuesday, shared his vision for what a Disney-owned Maker Studios looks like. He noted that Maker has become Disney's in-house expert on short-form video and will work with the studio across many of its divisions. "Short-form is a whole new medium," he added. "Many media companies try to get into the space but have not been successful because it's a different expertise."
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In the months following the acquisition, which closed in May, Maker has partnered with Disney to create blocks of its short-form programming that have aired on the Disney Channel and Fusion, among other networks, a strategy that Kreiz called an "early success."
Over the summer, a handful of Maker creators (the company works with more than 55,000 of them across the globe) created promotional videos tied to the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy, which come from Disney-owned Marvel. Kreiz showed a clip on stage of one of the resulting videos, the Guardians trailer remade in Lego by creator ForrestFire101.
In addition to building out it's relationship with Disney, Maker is also looking to emerging video platforms. Maker recently announced a deal with Dish to be the first YouTube network on its Sling TV streaming service and also struck a development deal with Vimeo. Kreiz also noted that the company has begun creating mobile apps and branded video hubs for its individual creators. "Our goal is to reach and engage people wherever they are," he added. "That gives us the ability to optimize the experience and the marketing of our top talent."
When asked about whether Maker is also experimenting with video on YouTube challengers such as Facebook and Twitter, Kreiz responded that content is always first for his digital firm. "We're always focused on making great content that people want to watch," he said. "In that sense, we found the right home because Walt Disney is the most creative company."