Maker Studios chief development officer Chris Williams had some choice words to say about his competition during an Idea to Screen industry panel held on Wednesday. Joining fellow Maker co-founder Ben Donovan and VP of talent Amy Finnerty during a “Mornings with Maker” panel, Williams was quick to clarify that Maker does not consider itself a multi-channel network. “Maker is a next generation media and tech company,” Williams said.
The chief development officer further bolstered his statement, explaining that Maker is placing a premium on developing technology. He specifically compared Maker tech to that of MCN Fullscreen, saying: “We don’t run around talking about tech like Fullscreen, but frankly, we have much better tech than they do.”
Williams’ comparison withstanding, Maker has been speaking about building proprietary technology since CEO Ynon Kreiz replaced Danny Zappin in May. At the time of his arrival, Kreiz explained in an Adweek interview that, “We’re [Maker] now investing pretty heavily in tech tools, things that can help us optimize or support talent and help advertisers reach [their] target audience.” At the time, Kreiz remained relatively mum about the tech in development, adding, “I don’t want to say too much but we have new products coming that complement what YouTube is doing.”
Though Maker seems to be putting a large stake in tech development, Williams also explained that the network’s talent and service were “better” than that of Fullscreen. He explained that Maker’s pedigree as a leading company resulted in around 3,000 creators applying to the network each day, which in some ways solidifies the fact that Maker is truly an MCN at the end of the day.
Since it was founded in 2009, Maker has been an MCN. It was only until recently that the network pivoted towards calling itself a “media and tech” company, which we noticed happening a bunch after Maker’s acquisition of Blip and its video tech. As much as Maker would like to change the perception that it is a MCN, it’s long history of being exactly that could make it nearly impossible. But then again, why quibble over semantics?