Maker Studios has partnered with violinist Lindsey Stirling, whose top-rated YouTube channel boasts more than 5 million subscribers who have watched videos of her unique style of classical dubstep more than a half-billion times.
The partnership will afford Stirling access to production resources through Maker's studio facilities in Culver City, Calif., where the company is based. But the real advantage in this type of partnership lies in Maker's expertise in monetizing the digital space.
"Her contract was up at Fullscreen and we felt like it was the right time to explore other potential partners," Stirling's manager Adina Friedman told Billboard via email.
"Optimization and monetization resources along with brand integration partnerships are definitely very important," says Friedman "We feel Maker is extremely proactive in this space and will be able to offer Lindsey the opportunity to help continue to grow her brand and be on the forefront of the digital space."
Stirling, who first appeared in the spotlight in 2010 on America's Got Talent, had her self-titled debut album reach the No. 1 position on both the Billboard Dance/Electronic chart and Classical Album chart with more than 350,000 copies sold in the U.S., all without the backing of a major label. Her follow-up in April 2014, Shatter Me, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
Stirling is managed by Atom Factory, the Troy Carter-helmed management company that secured a deal with her in April 2013. As it happens, Maker and Atom Factory already have a collaborative relationship.
"Maker is extremely proactive and creative with their talent," said Stirling. "They seem to have mastered the difficult task of giving attention to their smaller, growing channels while still being able to add value to their larger established channels -- plus, with this partnership, I am one step closer to becoming a Disney princess!"
Marker Studios is a YouTube multichannel network (or MCN), a company that works with the platform's creators helping them to produce and better monetize video content. Founded in 2009, Maker was purchased by The Walt Disney Company this past March for a sum topping $500 million (with another $450 million in performance-based earn outs), making it the largest acquisition of a MCN to date.
"Lindsey is the ultimate independent music talent -- setting the bar for other artists to aspire," said Chris M. Williams, chief audience officer at Maker Studios. "Her talent and success is undeniable and we could not be more thrilled to welcome her into the Maker community and work together on new projects."
Maker has partnered with a wide range of musical talent already, both mainstream (will.i.am, Snoop Dogg, Kelis, Kat Graham) and more digitally native stars such as Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD's Epic Rap Battles of History, The Gregory Brothers, Chester See, Christina Grimmie, and Rebecca Black, among others. The platform's network attracts more than 6.5 billion monthly views, with a pooled subscriber base 450 million strong.