The cost cutting crusade continues at Disney as Maker studios is on the chopping block according to this Variety report.
Maker Studios is gearing up for some major cutbacks in personnel as Disney looks streamline its digital-video division to operate more efficiently — and produce bigger, more bankable digital stars, Variety has confirmed.
Reps for Maker and Disney did not respond to requests for comment.
It’s not clear how sizable the layoffs will be, but according to an industry source familiar with Maker one of the key factors is that it is now integrated into the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) group, which is overseen by Jimmy Pitaro. “They don’t have a need for the entire team,” the source said. Maker is “not a self-contained unit anymore.”
Maker — which has touted its network as once encompassing some 60,000 individual creators — will be focusing its efforts around the most popular talent. Top creators in the Maker network include Bratayley, CaptainSparklez, Cartoonium, Epic Rap Battles of History, EvanTubeHD, Game Grumps, HobbyKidsTV, Shay Carl, Strawburry17, the Gregory Brothers and Timothy DeLaGhetto.
Disney bought Culver City, Calif.-based Maker Studios in 2014, ultimately paying $675 million (less than the $950 million maximum potential price tag). Last summer, Maker laid off about 30 employees in what it called a “strategic adjustment” of resources.