Maker Studios president: Disney 'has really embraced Maker'

Maker Studios president: Disney 'has really embraced Maker'
Actors and production staff rehearse for a music video shoot on a green screen set at Maker Studios in 2011. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Monthly views of YouTube network Maker Studios' videos have increased to 11.5 billion, according to Maker President Ynon Kreiz.

The Culver City company is behind online successes such as PewDiePie and Shaytards. Walt Disney Co. acquired it last spring in a deal worth as much as $950 million.

But Kreiz said the company has barely begun to utilize the Disney brands to grow its YouTube network; that will come later this year.

"The majority of our traffic [in 2014] is not including Disney content," Kreiz said in a keynote address at the Digital Entertainment World Conference in Century City on Tuesday afternoon.

The company, which targets millennial audiences, has roughly 600 million subscribers. There are about 55,000 creators from over 100 countries in the Maker network.

"We've been really good at connecting with them [millennials] and understand how they like to consume video," Kreiz said. "This has been a key part of combining what we do with Disney because millennials are a key demo, as we all know, but [they] are also hard to reach and engage."

Buying Maker was a way for Disney to get its content into a large audience that skews young. Though Maker and Disney are in what Kreiz deemed the "honeymoon period," the relationship has "been great so far."

"[Disney] has really embraced Maker," he said. "Bob Iger is a visionary.... Disney is the most creative company in the world. Maker fits in very nicely."

Already, Maker's content creators have been working to build content around Disney films such as "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Kreiz said, "2015 is yet another year on a trajectory where online video will continue to grow and become mainstream."

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