While Disney’s acquisition of Maker Studios was one of the earliest and largest plays by a traditional media powerhouse for a so-called YouTube multi-channel network, the seminal deal has ultimately proved less valuable than anticipated.
All told, Disney ended up paying $675 million for Maker Studios, according to a 10-Q form filed by the company yesterday. This included an initial payment of $500 million and a subsequent $175 million in earn-outs. While that isn’t exactly chump change, it’s less than the $950 million figure that Maker was slated to earn if all its performance goals were met.
Maker CEO Ynon Kreiz stepped down in December after the earn-out period expired amid reports of some friction. Maker felt it would have more access to Disney’s brands and IP, according to Re/code, and was also upset by changes in Disney’s corporate architecture. Kreiz was succeeded by former COO Courtney Holt, who was named executive vice president.