×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney exec ankles for Maker Studios

Chris Williams tapped to oversee programming

Maker Studios has lured an executive from Disney’s digital division to become the company’s chief programming officer.

Chris Williams will oversee an aggressive expansion under way at Maker, one of the most-watched content brands on YouTube. The company finished fourth behind just Vevo, Warner Music and Machinima among YouTube channel partners in February, according to Comscore Video Metrix.

Williams comes from Disney, where he was VP and g.m. of Disney Online Originals, a unit of Disney Interactive Media Group that cinched a deal last November to create original programming for YouTube — an unprecedented move from a major studio. Williams was instrumental in that effort, having come to Disney in 2008 after selling the conglom his company, Take180, which still functions as a creative hub inside DIMG.

Williams will focus on driving Maker to the next level of growth, with the expectation of doubling or tripling the number of channels from the current 400. That will mean beefing up content beyond the core verticals of gaming and comedy that make up 80% of the company’s programming and generating more hit formats.

Maker currently has the biggest hit original program on YouTube to its credit, “Equals Three,” which features Ray William Johnson.

The company produces approximately 300 videos per month, and it hopes to raise that number to 1,000 by the summer, according to Williams.

“There aren’t going to be any drastic programming changes — this is about expanding on existing success,” he said.

Williams is Maker’s biggest hire since bringing on former MySpace Music president Courtney Holt as COO last year.

More Digital

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Unveils $8 Essential Plan for Consumers Without Cars

    SiriusXM wants to cater consumers without cars, or cars without compatible stereos, with a new $8 plan for mobile and in-home listening. Dubbed SiriusXM Essential, the plan offers access to 200+ channels featuring the network’s entire music programming, as well comedy, news and select sports channels. Consumers will be able to test the new plan [...]

  • Mueller Report Book Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Book Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content