Disney shook things up in its digital operation, announcing layoffs at its Maker Studios and its consumer products unit’s digital publishing division. Engadget reports that the move eliminates about 80 jobs as part of a strategic shift that will drastically reduce the number of YouTube creators supported by Maker.
The move, which in part eliminates duplicated jobs, comes almost three years after Disney’s $675 million acquisition of Maker Studios, one of YouTube’s largest networks.
“The layoffs aren’t enough for the YouTube network to start making money, though, so it also plans to shed tens of thousands of creators to concentrate on a chosen few,” Engadget reports.
“The studio will no longer help most of its 60,000 creators gain visibility and sell ads,” the report adds. “It aims to work more closely with 300 of its most popular creators with the largest followings instead, as well as those most suited to work with Disney. YouTube creator Alexys Gabrielle, for instance, is making a show that’s a tie-in to the ‘Oh My Disney’ website that features games, interviews and skits promoting the company’s franchises.”
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the operation is being rebranded as the publishing and digital media group, overseen by Executive VP Andrew Sugerman. The moves, THR reports, are “part of a renewed focus within the company to create a more cohesive cross-platform programming strategy.”
In a statement Thursday, 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.”