By Sahil Patel
Maker Studios is about to host its first official event at the Digital Content NewFronts (in years past and even this year, major YouTube-built businesses like Machinima and Fullscreen have also participated in some unofficial fashion or another during Newfronts week).
In essence, it’s Maker’s coming-out party. Because while many have heard of Maker Studios, the multi-channel network that represents tens of thousand of creators and is in the process of being acquired by Disney, it’s easy to say that not many know of Maker Studios the brand.
In fact, you can easily say that, to date, Maker Studios doesn’t even have a consumer brand.
Now the company is looking to change that with the launch of Maker.TV, an owned and operated video destination that will use the technology Maker acquired when it bought Blip last summer. The destination will curate content produced by Maker and its network and partners.
This news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal ahead of the company’s Newfront this evening.
It’s easy to think of Maker.TV as a “competitor” to YouTube — and in a way it is — but the company will tell you that the destination is more aimed at raising awareness among those who watch Maker content, but might not know that it comes from a company called Maker Studios. As the argument goes: YouTube is a great marketing platform, but it’s not necessarily the best to build a premium video brand.
Content on Maker.TV is broken down into categories like Entertainment, Comedy, Music, Gaming, Life+Style, and Family. When you click those categories, you’re directed to a scroll of the latest content available from the Maker family.
On the right, there’s also an option to check out Maker-owned channels like The Platform (Beauty & Style), Polaris (Gaming), The Mom’s View, Nacho Punch (Comedy), and Maker Music. Fourteen more channels will be coming to Maker.TV soon, including those for Animonster and Cartoonium.
This all follows a strategy put into action by Maker last fall to “verticalize” the company’s content across 23 categories from Food to Gaming.
The hope is that this all will be attractive to advertisers, who want the audience that Maker can provide, but are put off by all of the white noise on a big open platform like YouTube. (YouTube, for its part, is combating this malaise with its Google Preferred program.)
The challenge, as usual, will be in proving that the audience Maker and its creators have on YouTube, will watch that on Maker.TV.