Walt Disney Co. has earmarked $198 million in potential payouts to Maker Studios’ former shareholders, according to the Burbank media house’s 2014 earnings report.
Disney acquired the Culver City multichannel network in March for $500 million in cash. But the deal also stipulated that shareholders could receive upward of an additional $450 million depending on Maker’s performance and growth for 2014 and 2015.
“Maker’s results in terms of consumption – number of videos streamed since the time that we bought them – has been up substantially, just huge growth,” Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger said during Tuesday’s earnings call.
Maker has the largest reach of all the YouTube networks with 9 billion monthly views and more than 600 million subscribers. Industry experts speculated that Maker would be reworked as a digital distributor for Disney content, but the online video producer has largely remained autonomous.
Maker last month launched a “Best Of” channel with Dish Network’s new streaming service Sling TV, which also hosts other Mouse House-owned properties ESPN, ABC Family and Disney Channel.
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