The deal could be worth up to $950m and marks a timely recognition by the studio of Millennial might.

Shareholders at Maker Studios, a network of online video content on YouTube, will receive $500m and a performance-linked payment of up to $450m is targets are met.

Maker Studios boasts more than 55,000 channels, 380m subscribers and 5.5bn views per month on YouTube.

“Short-form online video is growing at an astonishing pace and with Maker Studios, Disney will now be at the centre of this dynamic industry with an unmatched combination of advanced technology and programming expertise and capabilities,” said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger (pictured).

“Disney is synonymous with the best entertainment and is the ideal partner for us, strengthening our position as the leading player in online video,” said Maker Studios executive chairman and CEO Ynon Kreiz.  

Maker Studios will report to Disney CFO Jay Rasulo and will remain headquartered in Culver City, California, with operations in New York and London.

The transaction is subject to regulatory clearances and is expected to close in Disney’s third fiscal quarter.