It’s going to be a big week for announcements out of Anaheim because all the major players in online video have been saving up their big reveals for VidCon. Maker Studios is no exception; the newly minted Disney company revealed a new program aimed at developing their stable of over 50,000 creators into successful, self-sustaining brands. To reflect this new development system, Maker will rebrand its existing network of creators as Maker Gen.
Maker’s current network includes roughly 55,000 creators. Out of that group, approximately 5,000 top performers have been identified as self-sustaining brands that will not be folded into the Maker Gen hierarchy. Big names like Shay Carl, PewDiePie, Epic Rap Battles, and Timothy DeLaGhetto will not participate in Maker Gen. The remaining 50,000 or roughly 91 percent, of Maker’s creator partners will be divided into a three-tiered system based on the stage of their development.
The first, and presumably largest tier, will be “Elements,” consisting of channels that are just getting started or which are in the early stages of building an audience. As those channels begin to gain traction they will graduate to the “Evolve” tier, which is focused on audience growth and retention for channels on the rise. Channels that gain wide recognition will graduate to the “Emerge” tier focused on long term sustainability and growth for channels that are on the verge of breaking out. Presumably, the ultimate goal is for channels to make their way through the stages of Maker Gen and emerge as fully realized brands like the 5,000 elite partners Maker currently boasts.
Maker also rolled out a new consolidated hub for creator merchandise, Maker Shop, which will replace the existing Rodeo Arcade. Maker Shop will offer creator branded merchandise from Maker’s established talent as well as exclusive Maker branded merchandise. The shop will serve as an additional revenue stream for creators and help to more broadly establish the Maker brand.