Disney brings Maker Studios in-house

The once wild world of Maker Studios is to be integrated more closely into the controlled workings of inner Disney.

It was revealed in February that Maker was shedding staff and cutting ties with some 55,000+ YouTubers. This, of course, came after Maker dropped PewDiePie following the world’s most popular YouTuber mading headlines for the inclusion of racist and anti-Semitic material in his videos.

Now Variety reports that Maker’s 60,000 YouTube channels are to be trimmed back to under 1,000, all of which will be more closely aligned with Disney’s family-friendly brand values.

Until now the wider Maker network had allowed content makers to operate virtually independently. This ethos will be ditched in favour of a more controlled and deliberate curation.

Historically on the Disney Interactive Media side, our leaning into creators and influencers has been very light touch,” executive VP of publishing and digital media for Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media Andrew Sugerman said. We really focused only on Disney-branded endeavors. Whereas on the Maker side, influencers were really everything non-Disney-branded.

We’re going to infuse Maker into the Disney pieces, and Disney will be infused more into Maker. We are definitely looking to identify the influencers and creators who have the greatest appeal to our audience. We’ll be looking for opportunities to map those influencers to the broader Disney company.

We have one unified, integrated digital media network for advertisers that brings everything together – with creators and influencers, in a more impactful way.”

Sugerman added that creators will still be encouraged to create their own content, and will be given support to do so, but that opportunities to combine these with Disney properties will be actively sought.

Disney acquired Maker for $500m in 2014.

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