If Everybody is Happy With Being Fired You’re Probably Doing Something Wrong

lol Disney… why can’t you just stop with the nonsensical profit obsessed nonsense…

If you hadn’t heard Maker Studios is culling its heard of YouTube content creators and scaling down to only the most uber popular creators they have in their contractual stable…

…Maker Studios from a Disney princess to a pumpkin — there were a whole lot of many things.

Times were better for the YouTube network in March 2014, when Disney had decided to buy the company for $500 million. With various performance-related revenue targets included in the contract, the final price tag could have been as high as $950 million.

Disney ended up paying only $675 million for Maker, which is reportedly bracing for layoffs as the company plans to shrink the size of its YouTube network from tens of thousands of creators to roughly 300.¹

Disney, always one for bloated 90’s business culture and uber insular views on what’s important, spent $675 million to acquire 60,000 video personalities to only later decide to fire 59,000!

A maths aside…

That means Disney spent some ~ $11,250 to acquire each YouTube personality originally. That number goes to ~ $675,000 if they only keep 1000 personalities. A simplification… but an interesting one.


Because of incompetence and fundamental scaling issues that they never bothered to solve some poor decision making on Disney’s part.

Maker Studios, which Disney purchased for $500 million in 2014, announced it would pare down its 60,000 partnered YouTubers to under 1,000. Disney is going in a new direction with its multi-channel network, scaling back YouTube clients and integrating the operation into its Consumer Products and Interactive Media division. In an e-mail to its partners, Maker said they’d “outgrown” their original model and were “moving towards a more targeted approach to our creator relationships.” In other words, they’re pitching a more personal mode of managing their remaining creators.²

Ah… right… okay…

This is corporate speak for “we just realized that our business is terrible, we’re terrible, but we’re also weak and can’t admit that to ourselves“.

Olson isn’t one for product placement, so Maker’s brand deals didn’t do him much good. He received a premium ad rate, but since Maker skimmed about 25 percent of his revenue, the numbers didn’t weigh in his favor. Also, like several other sources interviewed, Olson reported regular late payments and backpay. “If anything, I stand to gain,” Olson said of his upcoming lay-off.²

That’s embarrassing.

“Join our network for premium ad rates!*
*the premium just goes into our pocket”

So what is it that Maker Studios is good at if it can’t actually provide the premium rates it says it can before it’s fees? Well some product advertising. Which Olson literally could’ve done himself with little to no effort.

So again… what is it that Maker Studios actually brings to the table?

Mason, whose film criticism YouTube channel NYX Fears has nearly 45,000 subscribers, wanted to end his contract because, in exchange for a third of his earnings, he says, Maker didn’t deliver on their offer to promote his content or advocate for him when copyright issues came up. He says he received a community guidelines strike from YouTube, which he considered unwarranted, and received little support from Maker. As a result, his channel lost vital features for six months. A year in, he requested to have his contract dropped, which he says was denied. A year after that, he requested the drop again, citing the poor percentage split. Then, a representative was allegedly quite responsive, negotiating his rate down.

“The only time I ever got good tech service was when my contract was about to expire,” Mason told me, a claim I’ve heard echoed from several Maker partners. “I thought I was the only one, but just about everyone I know from Maker is saying they’re excited that it’s over.”²


Premium advertisements that aren’t so premium for the content creator and no service as well!

That is pathetic.

If the only time you care about your business is when it comes to the date on a contract (looking at you Comcast) then you are fucking up. Customer service, internal business relationships, are often the most important aspect of a business. It doesn’t matter that your product is the best if you can’t communicate with the end user.

Can you see why people are happy to be let go from their contracts with Disney?

I sure can.


  1. https://digiday.com/media/disney-maker-studios/
  2. http://kotaku.com/some-youtubers-are-overjoyed-that-maker-studios-is-firi-1792854530

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