Maker Studios at MIPTV: Democratization and Globalization
If you weren’t able to catch Maker Studios’ presentation at the inaugural MIP Digital Fronts, taking place during the annual MIPTV international content marketplace in Cannes, it could be condensed to two words: democratization and globalization.
Rene Rechtman, president of international at Maker Studios, which was just acquired by Disney for at least $500 million, stressed how his company represents the global shift happening in entertainment — how, essentially, creation, promotion, and distribution are no longer only in the hands of the very few and well-funded. “Fans, hobbyists, and creators are the new publishers, meaning they are our distribution,” he said. “We need to understand this, because this is where the reach is.”
For instance, Rechtman pointed to how Bad Lip Reading’s parody video based on a “Game of Thrones” trailer received “four-to-five” times more viewership than HBO’s original trailer on YouTube.
Brands and media companies can’t ignore stats like these, according to Rechtman, as the opportunity is too great. With Maker, he went on, the opportunity is in one other thing that brands and media companies care about: scale. Later in the presentation, he cited Maker’s global reach of 5.5 billion views per month.
None of this is particularly new information, but it certainly shows what the company is going to be emphasizing at its Newfront event next month, as it hopes to build a profitable business and validate the Disney acquisition.
Part of Maker’s future plans, outside of convincing content and advertising partners of the above, is global expansion. Ever since Maker raised $26 million from a group of international investors including Canal+ and SingTel Innov8, expansion has been a key area of focus for the company.
During the presentation, Rechtman announced that Maker just opened a new office in Singapore, covering Southeast Asia, and will continue to expand to other markets. “We need to have our presence in Asia and South America, and everywhere else where this is all growing dramatically,” he said.
Global expansion for Maker also means finding syndication and distribution for the network’s original content, as well as the programming produced in partnership with its creators. “We are here at MIP to talk about the formats and the talent that we can bring to other platforms and other countries,” said Rechtman. That said, not all content will stem from a successful property in the US. “We need to be global on one hand, and also very local, and that’s what we’re aiming at,” he said. “We can’t influence everything from LA.”
Here’s the full 40-minute presentation if you’re interested: