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Disney owned Maker Studios confirms wave of cutbacks


By John Glenday, Reporter

February 24, 2017 | 2 min read

Disney is to axe around 80 jobs at its Maker Studios video unit and scale back its network of creators, which at one time included as many as 60,000 across a variety of different brands.

Acquired by Disney for $675m in 2014 the division has planned a major shake-up of its creative team and talent since being merged with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media last December, furthering an earlier bout of lay-offs from July.

This will see the entertainment giant allow the contracts of creators with smaller audiences to lapse as it focuses firepower on reaching people at scale. An abrupt reversal on a previous strategy at Maker Studios of adding as many creators as possible to its network to bulk up views – effective in the short term but insufficient to drive profitability.

As part of this process Disney is expected to shrink its talent pool to fewer than 1,000 creators while axing 80 roles from Maker’s business division.

Overseeing this re-orgsanisation will be Andrew Sugerman who has been elevated from overall leader at Maker Studios to executive vice president of publishing and digital media at DCPI.

Sugerman said: “We’re building a digital media network of Disney and non-Disney content for kids and millennials on the platforms they use every day. For advertisers, this network offers mobile, video, short-form content, micro-content, and influencers, all at scale.”

Disney has been hit by sliding revenues of late but is bullish about its creative and technology prospects.

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