Kara Swisher

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Former Myspace Music Head Holt Lands as COO at Maker (Plus Cool Video!)

Courtney Holt, who stepped down as president of Myspace Music early this year, is taking a new job as COO of Maker Studios.

Holt has been an adviser to the Venice, Calif., new-generation production company — which makes and distributes more professional original content to the Internet, mostly via Google-owned YouTube — since the summer.

“It’s a natural fit to work with a great team and a natural evolution for me,” said Holt, who has been monitoring the online video space, despite many years in the music sector. “Being able to create an ecosystem of talent, distribution and production is a perfect storm of opportunity.”

The focus of Maker is to make Internet-only videos using better shared production tools, distribute and cross-promote them via a myriad of channels on YouTube and make money using the Google unit’s advertising system. Videos are original, and Maker also distributes those of other Web stars.

So far, the start-up has garnered $4 million in total funding from Greycroft Partners and GRP Partners, grown to 140 employees and logged 500 million monthly page views from its 300 videos per month.

“We have done a great job getting Maker up and running, but we wanted to take it to the next level with someone who gets what we are doing,” said co-founder Dan Zappin. “[Holt] has spent some time here, totally got it and we thought it was time to formalize the relationship.”

Zappin said Holt’s role will be to help Maker grow the business, still mostly on YouTube, but also make it in new ways. “Obviously, mobile is a big opportunity,” he said, while also noting Maker’s social efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

Recently, Google announced that it was handing out more than $100 million to dozens of partners to create new channels.

Maker is producing three of these channel categories, but hopes to be more than just a content creator.

“There need to be networks to do distribution and marketing for Web content creators, to be able to do so at a cost per minute and drive audience,” said Holt. “It is unclear if all will get that right and we think Maker can help.”

To get an idea of what it does, here’s an ultra-hipster video Maker did, as well as one I did earlier this year at Maker (which also has a newly redone Web site here):


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