Over the past several years, Maker Studios has turned its talent-focused media haven for YouTube stars into a huge business, attracting tens of thousands of channels to its network, which in turn have attracted hundreds of millions of subscribers and billions of views per month.
One thing Maker doesn’t usually talk about is the technology that’s running things behind the scenes. Well, that’s changed, as the company is finally taking the wraps off its technology platform, called Maker Max, allowing creators to better manage their video libraries and engage with viewers.
Adding a technology to its network is a relatively new phenomenon for Maker, which had virtually no engineering staff to speak of just two years ago. Until then, it was mostly focused on helping its creators build their audiences through more traditional means — through collaboration and by aiding them in creating higher-quality productions.
But it became obvious that the company could do a lot more, so it brought on CTO Ryan Lissack in early 2012 to begin building out the framework for what would eventually become Maker Max. Along the way, Maker has hired about 45 personnel as part of its tech team, and that number continues to grow.
So what did it actually build? Maker Max is designed to be a one-stop shop for all the information Maker creators might need to grow their audiences. It provides a dashboard with analytics to show all their views, subscribers, revenue, and social engagement that has happened around their videos.
Connect your YouTube channels, as well as your Facebook page and Twitter account, for instance, and you can instantly see all of the mentions on social networks right alongside your views. For creators, doing this provides some actionable insights into how they can better engage with fans.
The dashboard also has a place for those in the Maker network to chat with each other in forums — which allows them to share best practices and encourages collaboration between them. There’s also a support system built in to provide answers to common questions and connect creators with Maker’s support specialists. Finally, there’s a referral program built in, through which creators can suggest other talent to join the Maker network.
“We have access to an enormous amount of data, and we spend a lot of time looking at data in a variety of ways,” Lissack told me. The goal is to use that data as a sort of business intelligence and apply it to a content creation paradigm that has in the past been more focused on talent.
Of course, Maker isn’t alone in touting its backend management platform. Each of the multichannel networks is trying to differentiate itself, either through content-specific vertical focus or through technology that it can offer to maximize viewership and increase engagement with viewers and subscribers.
The competitor that most often talks about its technology is probably Fullscreen, which has its own tools for video management, collaboration and engaging with fans. It’s called the Fullscreen Creator Platform and was formally announced over the summer.
Oh hey check out this video I did with Maker Studios over the summer: