Just days after news broke that Maker Studios would be dropping YouTube’s biggest creator from their roster, PewDiePie, the multi-channel network is preparing for another shake-up.
The studio, which was purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 2014 for $675 million, currently boasts around 25,000 partners. It is expected to slash that number down to around 300, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In an effort to cater to the top channels on their roster, the large majority of creators won’t receive contract renewals at the end of their term.
Maker is also preparing for another “significant” round of layoffs. Last July, they let 30 employees go in what they described as a “strategic adjustment.” The Twitter account for their entry-level network, Maker Gen, hasn’t posted any new tweets since July.
While the network still appears to be taking applications for partnership, it’s not clear if those applications are being processed at this time.
Update: Thursday, February 23, 5:45 PM ET
The upcoming layoffs have been confirmed. 80 employees are expected to be pink-slipped from Disney’s Consumer Products and Interactive Media division today, with which Maker merged back in December.
“We’re building a digital media network of Disney and non-Disney content for kids and millennials on the platforms they use every day,” said Andrew Sugerman, EVP of Publishing and Digital Media for DCPI, in a statement. “For advertisers, this network offers mobile, video, short-form content, micro-content, and influencers, all at scale.”
The cuts to Maker’s creator network are still looming; the network is expected to be reduced to less than 1,000 creators.
“As the creator space has evolved over the past few years, we have outgrown our original model of multiple tiers of service for our creator community,” said Maker Studios, in an email to all partners. “We are moving towards a more targeted approach to our creator relationships.”
“As we work through the changes, we’ll reach out to you shortly with specific details around how these changes might impact your relationship with the Maker Studios network,” the email read.