Walt Disney Co. is buying Maker Studios, the digital media company behind YouTube successes such as "Epic Rap Battles of History" and PewDiePie.
Burbank-based Disney said Monday that it will pay $500 million to Maker shareholders. Based in Culver City, Maker Studios has about 55,000 YouTube channels with 380 million subscribers and 5.5 billion views per month.
Shareholders could receive up to $450 million more, depending on Maker's performance after the acquisition. Maker, founded in 2009, is best known for its videos aimed at millennial viewers, who increasingly go online for video entertainment.
After the acquisition, Maker will report to Disney's chief financial officer, Jay Rasulo. The company, which has about 300 employees, will remain headquartered in Culver City and maintain operations in New York and London.
The deal is expected to close during Disney's third fiscal quarter.
Last year, Maker completed a $26-million round of series-C funding, adding to an earlier raise of $36 million in late 2012.