The mouse is joining forces with some of YouTube’s biggest stars. The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) announced Monday that is acquiring the technology-driven media company Maker Studios for a cool $500 million.
“This gives a presence online to reach the millennial group that is increasingly getting its video online,” Disney Executive Vice President Kevin Mayer gave as his reasoning for buying the company, considered by some an entertainment game changer. According to a report from Reuters, the online video distributor’s price tag could earn an additional $450 million if certain targets are reached.
Following the news, some of the co-founders behind the Culver City, Calif.-based startup have reacted on -- where else? -- social media.
“We could not have done it without you!!!” co-founder Lisa Nova (Donovan) tweeted Monday night, sharing in the glory with her fellow YouTube stars and co-founders of the studio’s first channel, The Station: Kassem G (Gharaibeh), Shay Carl (Butler) and Chad Hurley (a YouTube co-founder).
YouTube sensation Shay Carl Butler has also since commented on Twitter. “It’s a dream come true of a dream I never knew I even had!!” Butler shared Monday night. The Idaho native, best known for his Shay Carl channel skits and family Shaytards vlogs, also reminisced about Maker, a company he helped launch just five years ago. “Remember when we moved from Idaho to Los Angeles to start a @YouTube business? We sold it to the Walt Disney Company,” Butler posted. The Internet sensation, which just received a milestone 2 million subscribers for his main channel, later added quips about his Maker Studio's new boss's famous amusement park, posting, “We get a time share on Space Mountain!!! Unlimited churros!!!”
Hurley, a fellow co-founder and CEO of AVOS Systems Inc., publicly congratulated his team on the Disney news Monday. “Another awesome day for the @YouTube ecosystem #proud,” said Hurley.
A dream is a wish your heart makes... pic.twitter.com/Np6AAZXBk3
â€” Maker Studios (@MakerStudios) March 25, 2014
Maker has also since commented on the acquisition on social media, the company sharing their pride by posting an image of the studio’s name displayed on a Mickey Mouse hat in front of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle in Anaheim, Calif. “A dream is a wish your heart makes…” reads the Twitter post.
According to Maker’s website, the site, launched in 2009, is the number one producer and distributor of online video content, its videos reportedly garnering over 4.5 billion monthly views. “Maker is dedicated to developing talent, creating premium programming and building last brands with engaged audiences,” reads the site.