Maker Studios, the video company behind popular YouTubers Shaycarl, PewDiePie and now full-blown non-Internet celebrities like Snoop Lion, is getting into the library content biz with '80s-era episodes of Strawberry Shortcake and The Care Bears—both properties from American Greetings' licensing division AG Properties. Maker purchased exclusive YouTube rights to 20 episodes of each.
It's something of a surprising announcement given that AG already has new contemporary versions of its characters' adventures gracing the airwaves at Discovery's joint venture cable channel with Hasbro, The Hub. New episodes of Care Bears will arrive on YouTube every Friday with Strawberry Shortcake to follow on Sunday.
Maker is a powerhouse. It logs some four billion views a month with all its properties combined, and Shaycarl—more or less the face of the network—has helped to spearhead its kids programming with his new show Shaybeard; he's also hosting the company's hub on YouTube, Cartoonium, which also includes episodes of Howie Mandel's '90s kids show, Bobby's World. (Bobby's World, oddly, appears to be broadcast by the YouTube account of VOD network Kabillion, as well)
"We've just started producing kid-related content with Shaybeard. A lot of our content across the board is OK for kids, but this is explicitly made for kids," said Glasgow Phillips, svp of creative for Maker. "YouTube is actually great for kids even though that's not necessarily the first thing you think of."
Phillips said he's not concerned that the AG brands are spread between properties—it's a big world, he said, and there are a lot of platforms out there. "I don't think we should think of content appearing in different places as cannibalistic," Phillips told Adweek. "There's nothing better than working with people. We'd like to partner with almost anyone. We really believe that it's not a zero-sum game."