By Sahil Patel
Maker Studios has inked a distribution partnership with Music Choice, a pay-TV music channel that reaches 57 million households in the US.
Per the deal, Maker Studios will provide Music Choice with 500 hours worth of programming from the MCN’s Maker Music vertical. Content will span multiple formats, including original music videos, lifestyle series, and one-off clips, and will be available across Music Choice’s pay-TV channel, video-on-demand service, and digital video platform Music Choice Play.
The deal is part of Maker Studios’ strategy to grow its own content brands, like Maker Music, according to the company’s chief content officer, Erin McPherson, who talked about this strategy with VideoInk in a separate interview. Here, it means that on Music Choice’s VOD and digital platforms, Maker content will be accessible via a Maker Music-branded folder.
That said, the MCN also plans to spotlight its creators, beginning with musical-comedian Bart Baker. During April, Music Choice will feature a month-long takeover of Baker’s content parody music videos. Baker, who’s parodied the likes of Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, has nearly 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube with a lifetime view-count above 568 million. Some of his top videos will be aired on Music Choice during the “Bart Baker’s Funniest Videos” special, which premieres on April 1 at 7pm ET/PT.
The deal is also a first for Music Choice. The company, a joint venture between Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable, Microsoft, Motorola, Sony, and EMI Music, usually grabs music content from record labels and traditional media companies. This is the first time it’s licensing clips from a digital network.
“Music Choice is not only a video and music network, we are also a content provider and are always looking at new and innovative ways to reach our customers with captivating content,” said Damon Williams, VP of programming at Music Choice, in a statement. “Maker has an amazing catalog of content that attracts a massive millennial audience, making it the perfect match for us.”
It’s unclear how big the Maker Music vertical is, but its self-titled YouTube channel has more than 200,000 subscribers. Overall, Maker Studios, which as you know was just acquired by Disney for $500–950 million, encompasses 380 million subscribers across 55,000+ channels.