Pewdiepie, the world’s most popular YouTube personality (41 million subscribers), has partnered with Maker Studios to create a brand new video network: Revelmode.
Watch Pewdiepie’s announcement video below.
So what can we expect from Pewdiepie’s new channel? Probably more of the same from his handpicked YouTuber channels, but with higher production values as the new channel is backed by Disney-owned YouTube network Maker Studios, who Pewdiepie has long been signed with.
Disney acquired Maker in 2014 for $500 million, plus earn-out that could push the deal’s ultimate value to $900 million. The new studio will work on “premium content, game development, philanthropic programs, commercial partnerships and merchandise,” Re/code reports; it likens the deal to corporate-owned, artist-run record labels, which seems to make a lot of sense.
The interesting thing about Pewdiepie’s new network isn’t so much that it’s happening but what it says about parent company Disney. Not too long ago, a study commissioned and published by Variety found that Americans ages 13 to 18 perceive YouTube stars like Pewdiepie as bigger stars than conventional celebrities. Disney investing in Pewdiepie, giving him the power to make a network in his own image, no doubt suggests that Disney recognizes that in time, this medium could be as profitable than conventional entertainment products like TV and movies.
Though I have searched, I have not found any other massive entertainment company taking measure to get in on the popularity and clout YouTubers can have on future consumers.
It is a shrewd move by Disney, but if some of the money gets passed along to charity, who can complain?
I do worry about the poor guy that got a BroFist tattooed on his butt because technically that is Disney intellectual property and defend their intellectual property is something Disney excels at.
Regardless of how you feel about Felix Kjellberg’s new venture with Disney, one cannot argue that Disney’s investment isn’t a smart one. The YouTube medium is only going to continue to grow and Disney will be right there waiting to profit from it once the old guard is ready to accept it as a legitimate entertainment medium.