Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Maker Studios Finishes Buying Blip, and Looks for New Pile of Money

YouTube heavyweight Maker Studios has finished acquiring Blip, the video network and distributor.

This is the deal I told you about late last month. And while Maker isn’t saying much about it now, it is at least acknowledging that the deal is done, and that at least some of Blip’s senior people will be joining Maker.

Blip sales head Jason Krebs, for instance, will now head sales for all of Maker. Meanwhile, Maker said that Blip CEO Kelly Day, who joined the company from Discovery in March 2012, will “remain with Maker as an adviser.”

Maker said it generates four billion views on YouTube every month, with the help of talent like Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. But the Blip buy will help Maker create revenue streams outside of Google’s video site. Blip has its own player technology, which might be helpful as Maker looks to create standalone sites for stars like Kjellberg and others.

Blip isn’t disclosing a purchase price, but I asked around, and it’s not very much — less than $10 million in Maker stock, with the possibility of cash payouts if the company hits certain goals down the line.

Blip had raised at least $24 million since 2006, though I’m pretty sure the actual number is significantly higher.

It is possible that Blip’s backers will see the paper value of their equity increase in the near future. Maker, which raised $36 million late last year, is in the process of taking on more money now. If Maker executives are able to convince investors that they’ve figured out how to make money on — and now off — YouTube, they could get more than the $200 million valuation they earned in December.


Acquisition Will Accelerate Maker’s Expansion as the World’s Largest Multi-Channel Network of Online Video Content

CULVER CITY, Calif. — Sept. 6, 2013 — Maker Studios, a next-generation media company and the world’s largest multi-channel network of online video content, today announced it has acquired Blip, a leading digital media company that develops and distributes original web series. Through the acquisition Maker will incorporate:
Blip’s technology platforms for online video distribution through and partnerships with YouTube, Yahoo!, AOL and Virgin America.
Blip’s proprietary web and mobile technology, including apps for Xbox, Roku, iOS, Android and Kindle.
Blip’s leading channel partnerships and premium content.

Blip also brings a strong executive team in key areas such as commercial, sales and technology, including Max Smith, who will become Maker’s chief financial officer, Jason Krebs, who will lead sales efforts for Maker overall, and Jeff O’Connell, who will join as senior vice president of technology. Kelly Day will remain with Maker as an advisor.

“Blip’s content partnerships and technology platforms are a great complement to Maker,” said Ynon Kreiz, executive chairman, Maker Studios. “We will leverage these strategic parts of the business to supplement our offering, helping us continue to accelerate our growth. We are happy to welcome the Blip team to the Maker family.”

“We have long admired the success of Maker, and we think this is a great fit for Blip,” said Day, CEO, Blip. “For our production partners, this represents a great opportunity to tap into Maker’s unparalleled resources. For our advertisers, this combination represents a unique offering in the market of highly engaging branded content and custom creative, with massive scale and reach across multiple platforms.”

Maker has more than 4 billion views online per month with 60,000+ channels and more than 260 million subscribers. Maker also is home to many of online video’s top digital stars and content including the all-time most-subscribed YouTube personality PewDiePie; KassemG; Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD’s “Epic Rap Battles of History”; the Shaytards; Snoop Dogg’s WestFestTV; The Yogscast; The Gregory Brothers; Bad Lip Reading; Toby Turner; and Mike Tompkins, among many others.

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