DeBevoise expects to soon make one or more of Machinima’s channels paid for by subscription. It recently signed a deal with Ridley Scott, director of “Blade Runner” and “Gladiator,” to produce a dozen short sci-fi films.
“The Makers, the Fullscreens, the Machinimas, the VEVOs, the StyleHauls, the DanceONs, all these types of companies that are evolving on YouTube _ will evolve into people’s consciousness much faster than anybody expected,” he says.
Whereas specific genres or audiences are targeted by networks like Machinima, StyleHaul (fashion), DanceON (dance) and AwesomenessTV (tweens), networks like Maker Studios, Fullscreen and Big Frame more broadly aggregate YouTube creators. Founded in 2009 by early YouTubers Zappin and Lisa Donovan who thought it best to share resources, Maker Studios raised $36 million in financing led by Time Warner in December.
Google Inc.’ YouTube doesn’t officially endorse any multi-channel network, or MCN, though Google is an investor in Machinima. It cautions creators to consider the benefits and financial arrangements before signing a contract with a network. Some squabbles over contracts have occasionally spilled onto YouTube, like when celebrity YouTuber Ray William Johnson last year acrimoniously parted ways with Maker Studios. (Machinima, Maker and Fullscreen declined to share revenue information.)
“The emergence of networks is a sign of a maturing ecosystem and we see a lot of variety in terms of the services each provide, from rights management to production support to marketing to collaboration,” Alex Carloss, head of entertainment partnerships for YouTube, said in an e-mail. “More resources in the market is good for creators and YouTube overall.”
The biggest networks of YouTube may not have big-name talent, but they nevertheless have big-time reach.
“These are animators, they’re filmmakers, they’re musicians, they’re video gamers, they’re moms who make videos, they’re young, they’re old,” says Strompolos, who worked in partner development at YouTube before founding Fullscreen. “There’s high quality, there’s medium quality, and there’s low quality.”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle