Maker Stu­dios taps into Marvel uni­verse

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Stephen Battaglio stephen.battaglio@la­times.com

NEW YORK — Maker Stu­dios is find­ing that be­long­ing to the Walt Dis­ney Co. has its priv­i­leges — such as ac­cess to the Marvel uni­verse.

The pro­duc­tion com­pany that dis­trib­utes its con­tent on­line via YouTube an­nounced Tues­day that it plans to de­velop orig­i­nal pro­grams that are based on Marvel “lore and cur­rent re­leases” and cel­e­brate the comic book brand’s fans.

Ex­actly what that con­tent will be or when it will show up re­mains to be seen. A spokes­woman for Maker was unau­tho­rized to pro­vide de­tails.

Dis­ney has owned Marvel En­ter­tain­ment since 2009. Its vast ar­ray of su­per­hero char­ac­ters in­cludes Iron Man, Dare­devil, the Avengers and Spi­der-man. Dis­ney bought Maker last year in a deal val­ued at nearly $1 bil­lion.

Maker un­veiled the Marvel con­nec­tion at its “newfront,” one of the many pre­sen­ta­tions dig­i­tal con­tent com­pa­nies are mak­ing this week to get a piece of the ad­ver­tis­ing dollar com­mit­ments that have tra­di­tion­ally gone to the fall TV sea­son.

Maker’s pitch is aimed at ad­ver­tis­ers who want to reach mil­len­ni­als, age 13 to 34, who spend an in­creas­ing num­ber of hours watch­ing video on­line and on mo­bile de­vices. Sixty per­cent of that age group vis­its YouTube at least once a day, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s data. Maker Chief Con­tent Of­fi­cer Erin McPher­son said 80% watch short form video on­line each day.

Among the new of­fer­ings com­ing up from Maker are a late night-style talk show fea­tur­ing co­me­dian-ac­tor Taryn South­ern, a se­ries from designer and en­tre­pre­neur Rachel Zoe, and “Party Girl,” a scripted show from dig­i­tal comic Lisa Schwartz. The com­edy is based on her ex­pe­ri­ence as a birth­day party en­ter­tainer in Los An­ge­les.

Maker is also get­ting a new en­try from Matthew Clarke and David Pilchard, the cre­ators of the popular “Con­vos with my 2-yearold.” Kids will be treated as celebrity sub­jects in “Tod­dlers Tonight,” a sendup of en­ter­tain­ment mag­a­zine shows.

Maker is also col­lab­o­rat­ing with ABC’s Lin­coln Square Pro­duc­tions on a docu-se­ries called “Amer­i­can Woman,” in which a group of women hit the road to learn about the women be­hind the na­tion’s found­ing fa­thers.

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