The final tab for Walt Disney Co.’s purchase of Culver City’s Maker Studios is $675 million, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Disney bought the YouTube multichannel network in 2014, paying $500 million up front and promising up to $450 million in future payments to shareholders if certain performance benchmarks were met. Ultimately, Disney only paid $175 million in bonuses, though it did not disclose any details about the benchmarks themselves.
The acquisition has marked Disney’s biggest move into online media to date. With 10 billion views every month and more than 650 million subscribers, Maker is the largest network on YouTube. The company works with some 55,000 independent video creators to produce and distribute content, as well as secure advertising deals.
At the time of the acquisition, Disney envisioned using Maker’s network of YouTube stars to market its in-house properties, such as the Star Wars and Marvel Entertainment franchises. In turn, Maker saw integration with Disney as an important driver of future growth.
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