According to Peter Kafka at AllThingsD, Maker Studios has bought video platform Blip. We had been hearing rumors of Maker trying to find a platform other than YouTube to make money on their own terms, and now that is a reality. They are paying for Blip through stock and cash, according to the ATD report. Maker represents top channel PewDiePie as well as Epic Rap Battles. The most recent comScore shows Maker as the 2nd-largest (3rd overall) independent multi-channel network behind Fullscreen, with over 28 million viewers last month.
The acquisition solves a major problem for the multi-channel network, where YouTube AdSense revenues are divided among several parties: YouTube (taking a rumored 45 percent), the network (taking what is usually described as 30 percent of that remaining 55), and the creators (who get the rest). With no control over the frequency or kinds of ads, the MCNs and creators are at the mercy of YouTube, so being able to control that ad space with a proprietary player is attractive. The question for Maker now is, "Can they get viewers to follow their creators off of YouTube?" Will creators like PewDiePie start publishing his videos on Blip first, and YouTube later? All of that remains to be seen.
Maker is keeping most of the Blip staff, while CEO Kelly Day will leave. As NewMediaRockStars has pointed out, this will reunite Maker with Ray William Johnson, who left Maker last October and went through a terribly public dispute over AdSense revenue, and joined Blip back in May. So it will be interesting how that plays out as well.