Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Big-Money Bet on YouTube, as Maker Raises $26 Million More

tv moneyCan you build a really big business on the world’s biggest video site?

That’s a subject of much debate this year, as many of YouTube’s biggest partners have complained that they’re getting lots of views on the site, but not enough money.

But here’s another vote on the “yes” side of the ledger: Maker Studios, which said it generates four billion views a month on YouTube, has raised $26 million from a group of investors including Canal+, Malaysia’s Astro holding company and SingTel Group.

Maker is describing the new money as the second part of a funding round it started last December, when it raised $36 million from Time Warner and others. Maker had previously raised money from VCs including Greycroft and Upfront, and angels including Robert Downey Jr. and Elisabeth Murdoch.

Last week, Maker closed on its deal to acquire video distributor Blip, a deal that will give the company technology to help it build sites off of YouTube. I assume we’ll hear more about those this fall.

But, despite chatter about Maker or other big YouTube distributors building a “YouTube competitor,” I don’t see that happening. My hunch is that everyone who gets lots of views on YouTube will want to keep getting lots of views on YouTube. The trick will be figuring out how to make more money from those views, as well as building additional revenue streams outside of Google’s site.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work