Disney Eyes $500m for YouTube's Largest Network Maker Studios
Disney Eyes $500m for YouTube's Largest Network Maker StudiosReuters

The Walt Disney Co will pay half billion dollars for one of YouTube's largest networks, Maker Studios, in a bid to reel in more teens to its entertainment empire by becoming one of the world's biggest video distributors.

While Disney agreed to pay $500m (£303m, €361m), the total price of the acquisition could double by the time the deal is expected to close in Disney's third fiscal quarter, say Reuters sources.

"This gives a presence online to reach the millennial group that is increasingly getting its video online," said Kevin Mayer, Disney executive vice president for corporate strategy.

"And it gives us a lot of data to help promote our other businesses to them."

Maker Studios was founded in 2009 produces video content, which is aimed at the younger generation, and has a total 380 million subscribers across more than 55,000 channels.

Sources peg views per month reaching 5.5 billion.

"Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the center of this dynamic industry," said Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement.