Maker Studios kicked off the second day of the 2016 NewFronts Tuesday morning, but unlike most of the other digital players in the space, it eschewed a splashy presentation for what it called "an intimate approach to the event."
The Disney-owned multichannel network hosted a breakfast at The Biergarten at The Standard in New York's Meatpacking District for brand clients only, in contrast to its 800+ attendee event last year.
"We gave our most strategic marketing and advertising clients a view into the evolution of Maker Studios and where we are heading as a business," said Courtney Holt, head of Maker Studios. "We walked through our leadership position in distinct programming genres, our programming and talent network, and of course, our reach—showcasing how we can collaboratively work together."
Talent from the Maker Studios network, including Patrick Boivin, Kim and Penn Holderness, Makeup by Eman, Romeo Lacoste, Timothy DeLaGhetto, a fully-bearded PewDiePie, and Shameless Maya, mingled with buyers as the network announced new concepts from the Spark by Maker inaugural class.
"In a media landscape where video has become commoditized, now, more than ever, it's important to focus on differentiated strengths," added Gabriel Lewis, head of development & studios. "Spark by Maker is just one example of how Maker's approach to content remains forward-thinking."
Four Spark concepts (with working titles) got the green light:
- Spin For Ink: Romeo Lacoste gives fans a new tattoo of their dreams, but only if they earn it through a series of extreme challenges.
- Worthy: Beauty guru Charisma Star handpicks inspirational stories and aspirations—submitted by her fans—to feature and discuss, in an effort to help them reach their goals.
- The Remember Hour: Creator Chad Quandt brings audiences a dystopian puppet show where characters Rash and Skid share their knowledge of the past with fans.
- Can I Crush It?—Kali Muscle puts his muscles to the test and gets out some aggression—taking suggestions from fans on what he can and cannot crush.
"We have worked hard to perfect the process of how we work with clients, to bring them tangible results with a focus on media and content creation," said head of sales Jason Krebs. "While anyone can create individual components of what we offer, Maker Studios' uniquely packaged programs truly set us apart in the ecosystem."
Maker also continues to collaborate with parent company Disney. In the past year, the studio has launched original series with both Disney's Marvel and Lucasfilm brands, launched Disney XD by Maker and co-developed the first unboxing initiative for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.