Maker Studios Reaches Deal in Principle to Acquire Blip

Deal would give Maker Studios access to Blip technology, as well as an off-YouTube distribution network and content

Maker Studios, a major YouTube multichannel network, has signed an agreement to acquire online video company Blip but the deal is not officially done yet, according to sources close the deal.

Maker Studios declined to comment. Blip reps did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Deal was reported Wednesday by AllThingsD. The proposed pact still must go through due diligence before it’s official, and that could happen as early as next month, sources said.

With Blip, Maker would have a network off YouTube where it could distribute its content. Conversely, Blip content — from partners including FremantleMedia North America and comedy star Ray William Johnson, who previously worked with Maker Studios before a public dispute — could be distributed and promoted across Maker’s properties.

Maker also is interested in using technology developed by Blip to distribute content to mobile and connected-TV platforms, according to sources.

Maker Studios is one of the largest YouTube MCNs, with 28.6 million unique visitors and 530.7 million video views in July 2013, according to comScore. One of Maker’s channels is PewDiePie, Swedish videogamer Felix Kjellberg, who last week captured the No. 1 spot as the most-subscribed channel on YouTube.

SEE ALSO: Maker Studios Founder Danny Zappin Sues Company Over ‘Ouster’

New York-based Blip’s investors include Bain Capital Ventures, Canaan Partners, Ambient Sound Investments and individual angel investors. It has about 50 employees; Blip CEO Kelly Day, who joined the company last year from Discovery Communications, would leave after the acquisition, according to the AllThingsD report.

Maker Studios, which has about 340 employees, is based in Culver City, Calif. Company has raised about $44 million to date. Investors include Time Warner Inc.; Greycroft Partners; Robert Downey Jr.; Elisabeth Murdoch; FUEL: M+C, the investment company for Jon Miller and Jimmy Yaffe; Maker chairman Ynon Kreiz; Daher Capital; and Lightstorm’s Jon Landau.

In May, Maker Studios announced that chairman Ynon Kreiz would replace co-founder and CEO Danny Zappin, who was to become a special adviser to Kreiz.

Subsequently Zappin and three other Maker execs sued the company, alleging breach of contract and fraud. Maker Studios has said the lawsuit is “without merit and the allegations are baseless.”

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