By Evan DeSimone
Maker Studios, the online video network acquired by Disney last year, is doing some acquiring of its own. Maker has snapped up Instafluence, an Arizona-based social startup that specializes in connecting social media influencers with advertisers. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed as of press time.
The acquisition will give Maker the opportunity to diversify its offerings to advertisers. Historically, the company has hewed close to its YouTube origins, a space where the bulk of profits are drawn from video pre-roll ads and brand integrations. With Instafluence, Maker can offer more to brand partners. According to Maker strategy chief Courtney Holt “Social creators and influencers are the key to marketing in today’s digitally native world, and this acquisition showcases Maker’s continued expansion across platforms — working with all creators across the digital ecosystem to best service our commercial partners.”
Founded in 2013 by Scott Paul and Nykelle Schlofman, Instafluence reaches a mass digital audience by tapping a network of connected social media influencers. In a statement, the company boasts over 10,000 sponsored posts on popular networks over the last year. Those posts resulted in over 150 million consumer engagements for brands like PacSun, Crossmedia, Wooga and VH1.
Maker’s Instafluence purchase is part of a larger trend toward diversification in the the space, as MCNs look for ways to grow beyond their YouTube roots and foster more extensive and profitable brand partnerships. The deal is reminiscent of similar acquisitions by Twitter, Corbis, and Fullscreen, which respectively purchased social talent agencies Niche and Plaid Social Labs and social media studio McBeard earlier this year. The move by Maker also calls to mind the recent actions of ousted former Maker chief Danny Zappin, whose Zealot Networks has been on a media shopping spree recently.