Disney has acquired Youtube content provider Maker Studios for $500 million, and has a performance based payout that totals $450 million. When the deal is complete it could possibly be worth nearly a billion dollars total. You normally only see companies purchase other studios for this type of money.
Who is all covered under this umbrella of theirs? Many Youtubers, over 55,000 to be exact, but most notably PewDiePie, TotalBiscuit, and Yogscast. If you haven’t heard, PewDiePie is the largest channel on Youtube. This totals over 380 million subscribers, 5.5 billion views a month, and the 55,000 channels.
Disney noted that they acquired the company to take a lead in “short video” content. This also allows them to do market research and learn more about the formula. By comparison, Warner Bros recently purchased Youtube giant Machinima for 18 million.
Some of the Youtube channels involved with the purchase have noted that “they don’t know what it means for them” but several have noted that they will continue to do what they want. If things change, several of the giants could very easily leave, which would hurt the overall payout.
Yet I’m more personally worried with what it means for us as viewers. When the music industry started seeing big companies as a presence on Youtube, it meant the beginning of copyright infrindgment galore. Posted a video that has a snippit of a song? Well Vevo owns rights so now the entire video is muted.
What happens when Disney or WB wants to start pulling the same cards regarding video games? We already saw a hassle earlier this year with thousands of videos being removed on “lets play” channels.