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Maker Studios is asserting its independence from YouTube with the launch of its own streaming video platform.
The Culver City digital media firm, led by executive chairman Ynon Kreiz and newly appointed head of content Erin McPherson, took the stage at the Digital Content NewFronts to unveil Maker.tv, a destination for windowed and exclusive original content from Maker and its roster of online talent. The move comes as little surprise given Maker’s September 2013 acquisition of video network Blip.
The company — which Disney recently agreed to acquire for up to $950 million — also unveiled its upcoming slate of original programming. Maker had already announced comedy series Ithamar Has Nothing to Say from Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele and scripted drama Oh, You Pretty Things! starring Francesca Eastwood.
Maker’s other original series include Over the Top, which stars musician-actor Chester See as a struggling artist trying to make a name for himself in Los Angeles, and ShayCarl docuseries ShayLife, in which the YouTube star works with people to help them make positive lifestyle changes. The company has also unveiled kid-friendly series Mind_Craft, where online gamer Joseph Garrett uses the popular game Minecraft as an educational tool, and fashion show Cri-Chic-Ing, where style maven P’Trique and her celebrity friends give fashion feedback to pedestrians during Fashion Week.
One of Maker’s new projects is a branded channel from Morgan Spurlock called smartish. Shows already in the works for the channel include Consider the Source, which will follow the journey that a product makes before it hits the shelves, and How to Win at Life, an adaptation of the Charles Duhigg bestseller The Power of Habit that looks at the science behind everyday choices that might ruin your life.
As Maker continues to sign traditional Hollywood talent, such as will.i.am and James Franco, the company has also announced LABS@Maker, a new programming model where partners can co-create content with Maker utilizing its creative team, talent partners and online data tools.
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