Last year, Disney purchased the YouTube giant Maker Studios in a lucrative deal that could top out to $US950 million if all Maker Studios’ goals are reached.
It shouldn’t be difficult to see why. As of April, Maker Studios was the biggest video provider on YouTube, thanks to its partnerships with some of YouTube’s biggest stars, including PewDiePie, KassemG, Bart Baker, and the team behind Epic Rap Battles of History.
Located near the heart of Los Angeles, the offices of Maker Studios are a full-fledged production house, making the latest parody videos, talk shows, and cartoons that their fans love.
We recently stopped by to check out the space.
Maker Studios' offices are located in a large warehouse in Culver City. Walk in and you are greeted by the Maker logo.
The lobby is filled with reminders of Maker Studios' achievements, including an RIAA gold certification for Epic Rap Battles of History, one of Maker's most popular channels.
The lobby leads into a large kitchen area. There's even a mini convenience store where employees can buy snacks, drinks, and other goodies.
Or if you're really hungry, grab some Caribbean food. Once a week, the company provides a catered lunch for employees.
Some teams are based around traditional company functions like HR and finance. Others are for specific YouTube channels, like Maker's comedy channel Nacho Punch.
Maker was formed by prominent YouTubers to be a network for YouTube stars, by YouTube stars. Though the company has changed a lot over the years, the team is still having fun. Here, a couple of employees played Mario Kart.
Employees' desks have signs with their occupants' names and descriptions of what they 'make.' Some signs are serious; others are more tongue-in-cheek.
The Maker team is always watching its analytics to figure out how its videos are doing and whether something is going viral.
There is always someone filming 'Let's Play' videos, where YouTubers play video games and provide commentary.
This is the 'all-hands area,' where the team has monthly meetings to announce new shows, new stars, and developments from its relationship with Disney. Most of the time, it's just a hangout area.
There's evidence of the deal with Disney everywhere, including this sign for the #DisneySide All-Star Creator Conference, a recent conference to help grow Maker's creators through the Disney partnership.
This is one of Maker's main studios. It's used for a variety of shows, most notably Friend Zone, a livestream hangout where YouTube stars discuss 'nerd news' and play board games.
Search around and you may find this closet with loads of goodies used in 'unboxing' videos, one of the biggest trends on YouTube these days.
In the back of the office is the Maker Shop. Maker Studios provides all of its YouTubers with the ability to create custom hats, T-shirts, iPhone cases, and other merchandise for their channel.
YouTubers have the option of collaborating with Maker's designers to come up with the concepts for the gear.
Head across the street to Maker's second office, which is primarily a production studio. We saw this prop mine cart hanging outside.
Here's the studio where the props for Maker's most production-heavy videos, such as the Epic Rap Battles of History series, are made.
We dropped in one of Maker's studios. They were filming a parody of Rihanna and Kanye West's 'FourFiveSeconds' with YouTube star Bart Baker.
Some YouTubers even have their own office at Maker Studios. This is the office of Sam Macaroni. As you can probably tell, he's a huge sci-fi and comic book geek.
Maker has a dedicated animation team creating videos for its Cartoonium channel. Shows on the Cartoonium channel include revivals of Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears and the pirate show Shaybeard, featuring popular YouTuber Shaycarl.
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