In a bid to expand its reach across multiple platforms, Maker Studios has signed an agreement to purchase Blip, a producer and distributor of original Web videos, according to sources close to the deal.
The agreement, which is expected to close in early September, would combine Maker’s network of 60,000 channels on YouTube with Blip’s distribution across Xbox Live, Roku, Yahoo Screen, AOL, Google TV and iTunes, as well as on Amazon’s Kindle and Android devices. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
In addition to managing a network of 5,000 independent YouTube channels, Blip distributes content for Fremantle Media, MyDamnChannel, the Pet Collective and Rooster Teeth. The New York startup generated 119 million views from its 9.6 million U.S. viewers in June, according to comScore. Last year, Blip began producing original Web content sponsored by brand partners, including Verizon and Geico.
Launched in 2005, Blip boasts investors from Canaan Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and Ambient Sound Investments. The company has raised up to $24.3 million in funding. Sources say that most of Blip’s staff, especially its ad sales crew, will have the option of remaining with the combined company.
Maker, which has raised $44 million since 2009, garners more than 4 billion views per month from its YouTube channels. The company combines the channels, some of which it owns while others belong to independent creators, into a single multichannel network (MCN) in order to aggregate a large audience that can attract premium ad rates, as well as cross-promote channels to drive traffic within its network. But as YouTube becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, online video producers are looking to find additional avenues of distribution. Blip’s experience with serving up videos elsewhere on the Web, as well as on tablets and TVs, would likely come in handy for any MCN looking to broaden its reach.