By Sahil Patel
Two weeks after news broke that Maker Studios had acquired Blip, the two companies have made it official. Via a release distributed this morning, Maker says it has bought Blip to “accelerate” its expansion as the largest MCN on the web, though did not provide any details in terms of purchase price.
Per the deal, Maker will incorporate Blip’s player technology and distribution partnerships with the likes of YouTube, Yahoo, AOL, and Virgin America, as well as Blip’s web and mobile video products, including apps for the Xbox, Roku, iOS, Android, and Kindle.
When we learned that Maker had bought Blip, some industry executives wondered what that would mean for Blip’s channel partnerships with the likes of My Damn Channel and The Pet Collective. It appears Maker will honor those deals, which confirms what VideoInk had heard from those close to My Damn Channel and FremantleMedia (which owns The Pet Collective).
The other question was what would happen with Blip’s executive team, from CEO Kelly Day on down to president of sales, Jason Krebs. Per the announcement, Day will remain with Maker as an advisor, while Jason Krebs and the Blip sales team will now be responsible for ad sales at Maker. In fact, Krebs will now lead sales efforts for Maker overall, while Max Smith will become Maker’s chief financial officer and Jeff O’Connell the network’s SVP of technology.
“Blip’s content partnerships and technology platforms are a great complement to Maker,” said Ynon Kreiz, executive chairman of Maker Studios, in a statement. “We will leverage these strategic parts of the business to supplement our offering, helping us continue to accelerate our growth. We are happy to welcome the Blip team to the Maker family.”
A pretty standard quote from Kreiz, though it definitely points to what Maker has been gearing toward all along: a premium off-YouTube platform that it can fully control.
This is further confirmed by a letter Blip CEO Kelly Day just sent to the platform’s producer community. In the letter, which is copied and pasted in full below, Day says that the Blip platform will get “bigger and better at an accelerated rate with the resources, talent, and audience that Maker brings to the table.” (Emphasis mine.)
The other interesting thing from the letter: Blip producers will get the chance to join the Maker network if they want to. Day says more information on this will be available in the “coming weeks.”
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To The Blip Producer Community –
I’m excited to announce that Blip has been acquired by Maker Studios, a next-generation media company and the world’s largest multi-channel network of online video content. This means exciting things for the future of Blip and our community of talented independent producers. Your passion for creating entertaining, informative, and engaging video is part of Blip’s DNA. We want that collaborative relationship to continue.
A few things that are important to clarify: the core Blip toolset (producer dashboard, video player and monetization tools) will remain the same; Blip.com will continue to operate as a robust entertainment destination; and the industry-leading Blip sales team will be ramping up their sales game. Maker is committed to continuing and improving all of these services, and the Blip brand will continue to represent the best in original web series across all platforms.
We’ve put together a brief Q&A below to answer more specific questions and help clarify our path moving forward:
“So the Blip platform isn’t going away?”
Nope. In fact, the platform will get bigger and better at an accelerated rate with the resources, talent, and audience that Maker brings to the table.
“Will this affect my ad revenue split?”
As always, we will continue to evaluate our terms and conditions with producers to ensure that we remain competitive and offer producers the best value. At this point, terms and conditions remain unchanged.
“Should we expect more revenue for Blip and its producers?”
Blip continues to offer producers some of the best opportunities to monetize their content, through pre-roll, mid-roll, post-rolls and our unique custom overlays, as well as numerous sponsorship, brand integrations, and custom content. Our ability to monetize web series and deliver premium ad dollars is unparalleled in the industry. Our alignment with Maker Studios gives us access to bigger pools of ad dollars, a deeper relationship with YouTube, and many opportunities to make more money for producers.
“If I distribute on YouTube, will I have to join the Maker network?”
No, existing Blip producers will not be required to join Maker’s MCN on YouTube. However, the opportunity to join the Maker network will be presented to Blip producers who are interested in growing a presence on YouTube. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.
“What about your apps and distribution partners?”
We are still committed to offering the widest and most comprehensive distribution tools available to independent producers. As far as additional distribution opportunities, we are still developing a roadmap for our producers moving forward, so stay tuned.
This is a truly incredible time for online video and we are excited that we are in it together. Thanks in advance for bearing with us during this transition and we will keep you in the loop as we move forward. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please visit Producer Support at http://support.blip.tv or contact us with specific questions.