By Sahil Patel
Maker Studios, the multi-channel giant recently acquired by Disney, plans to lay-off about 10% of the 380 or so employees on its staff.
News of the cuts were first reported by Variety. When reached for comment, a Maker Studios representative said: “Maker’s business is constantly evolving, and we routinely reassess our internal resources and make strategic adjustments, reducing staff in some areas while actively hiring in others.”
Other sources close to the situation say that any layoffs are not tied to Disney’s acquisition of Maker Studios — the studio is not forcing Maker’s hand in any way. Instead, they stress that this is an instance of Maker operating as any other business.
Earlier this spring, the MCN was acquired by Disney for $500 million, with additional performance-based earn-outs that could drive the final price up to $950 million. It’s a landmark deal for the MCN space, which is still searching for profitability.
In fact, this isn’t the first (nor probably the last) instance of an MCN cutting staff. Another YouTube giant, Machinima, has undergone several rounds of layoffs in the past couple of years.
Maker Studios’ network claims a reach of more than 380 million subscribers on YouTube and 5.5 billion video views per month. The company recently hosted its first Digital Content NewFront event in an effort to attract Madison Avenue dollars to its audience on and off YouTube.
No single department is at the center of the layoffs. Nor will anyone at the helm of the network be affected, sources confirm.