This is a big day for the online short form video company that Disney’s spending nearly $1B to acquire — Hollywood’s biggest bet so far on the new production platform. Maker Studios stages its first NewFront presentation in NYC today. And Disney CEO Bob Iger talked it up in his earnings call with analysts. “We bought a lot of different capabilities, but mostly distribution” on the YouTube focused business, Iger says. “They also have access to great data and algorithms.” Although the purchase will shave a few cents from Disney earnings for a few years, “there’s a huge marketing opportunity for this company,” he says.
Maker called on performers will.i.am, Cody Wise, and The Gregory Brothers to help excite advertisers who attended the sales presentation. The company promoted its 23 networks, a proprietary video platform (Maker.tv), and an ad product it calls Maker Offers. For advertisers who are overwhelmed by online video choices, and fearful about the medium’s ability to promote sales, Maker Offers enables them to “tap directly into creators that reach specific audience targets for authentic connections with consumers, all while providing data and insights to performance metrics of campaigns,” the company says.
Maker aimed a spotlight on a new channel, smartish, from documentary maker Morgan Spurlock described as “a new type of channel for brands to partner on clever content.” It also featured shows including a 6-part comedy Ithamar Has Nothing to Say, a scripted series featuring Chester See called Over The Top, a “docu-series” ShayLife, and Consider the Source which explores the journeys that popular products take before they make it to a store’s shelves.