Defy Media

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Defy Media, LLC
Formerly
Alloy Digital
Private
IndustryDigital Media
PredecessorsBreak Media
Alloy Digital
Founded2008 (2008)
DefunctNovember 6, 2018; 7 days ago (2018-11-06)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Matt Diamond[1]
ProductsDigital Media, Merchandise, Broadcast, Advertising Media Network, Apps
OwnersABS Capital Partners (36%)
Lionsgate (19%)
Viacom (7%)
Wellington Management Company (38%)[2][3][4][5]
Number of employees
400[6][7]
SubsidiariesSmosh
Clevver Entertainment
Websitedefymedia.com

Defy Media, formerly known as Alloy Digital and Break Media,[8][9][10] was an American digital media company that produced original online content for the 12–34 age group. On November 6, 2018, the company announced that it was ceasing operations.

Content[edit]

Defy Media owned and operated online brands including Smosh,[11] Shut Up! Cartoons, Smosh Games, Clevver Media, Break.com, The Escapist,[12] AddictingGames.com, Gurl,[13] MadeMen, CagePotato, and Chickipedia, with some brands being inherited from Break Media. Each of these brands operated a dedicated website and YouTube channel in or about comedy, filmed entertainment, news, video games, viral content, girl culture, men culture, or MMA. Defy Media's online program offerings included The Single Life, The Confession, Fashion on the Fly,[14] Dating Rules,[11] Chasing,[15][16] Style Rules,[17] Wendy,[18] Style Setters,[19][20] and The Sub.[21]

According to ComScore, Defy counted more than 38 million followers among its owned brands, reaching 221 million unique visitors each month.[22] Together, its channels reached over 80 million video viewers monthly.[23]

Defy's main investors were Viacom, Lionsgate, Zelnick Media Capital (until 2017; initially the parent company after acquiring predecessor company Alloy, Inc.[24]) and ABS Capital.[25] On January 12, 2018, Viacom re-entered talks to merge with its sister company CBS Corporation into one company,[26] the plans were previously cancelled on December 12, 2016.[27] Both Viacom and CBS are in talks to acquire Lionsgate, along with Amazon.com, Verizon Communications and Comcast.[28][29][30] An acquisition of Lionsgate by CBS and Viacom would allow the company to own a 26% stake in Defy Media.

In March 2018, Defy Media laid off 8% of its headcount, exiting its programmatic advertising and video licensing and syndication businesses.[31]

On November 6, 2018, Defy Media announced that it was shutting down operations effective immediately and laying off all employees at its Beverly Hills Production office.[32] Smosh's CEO Ian Hecox is hopeful about the future for his brand, which he and Anthony Padilla sold to Defy Media in 2011, and stated that he is looking to find "a new home" for the Smosh brand.[33]

Brands[edit]

Defy Media owned various brands including viral video site Break.com, MadeMen (a website about how to be a man), flash game sites AddictingGames.com and Shockwave.com, DIY prop and cosplay channel Awe.Me, and Prank It FWD (Forward).

Smosh[edit]

Smosh was founded in 2005 by Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla and acquired by Alloy Digital in July 2011.[34][35] The channel’s core demographic is people ages 12-24. The SMOSH.com website measures 1.5 million visitors monthly.[36] With shows like Every [Blank] Ever, The Big What If, and its sketches, Smosh was called the Saturday Night Live of the Internet by Time in 2006.[34] Smosh spin-off channels include the defunct Shut Up! Cartoons, Smosh Games, Smosh Pit, and El Smosh.

Smosh Games was launched as a spin-off of Smosh and relaunch of ClevverGames in September 2012. Hecox and Padilla teamed up with various online gamers to play games, provide reviews and updates, and share commentary. The channel contains gameplay videos and a gaming variation of Screen Junkies' Honest Trailers called Honest Game Trailers. The YouTube channel achieved 1 million subscribers within three months of launching.[citation needed] It has gained more than 350 million video views.[23]

Clevver Media[edit]

Clevver Media was founded in 2006 by Michael Palmer and Jorge Maldonado and acquired by Alloy Digital in June 2012.[37] The millennial target platform operates five entertainment and celebrity-focused YouTube channels, including ClevverTV, ClevverMusic, ClevverNews, ClevverStyle and ClevverTeVe. Clevver Media ranks in the top 10 YouTube networks, according to ComScore.[38] Joslyn Davis serves as the executive producer.[39] Hosts/producers have included Deidre Behar, Tatiana Carrier, among others. The Clevver brand is the second-largest YouTube channel group for sponsor content in the Defy Media group of brands. Employees Erin and Joslyn also appeared on the 28th series of The Amazing Race.[40]

Gurl was an online community that covered a variety of teenage-girl issues including life, love, sex, health, and friends. The website also included channels Crushable, The Gloss, The Grindstone, Mommyish and Blisstree, and was also part of the Clevver Network.

Former sites/channels[edit]

Over the years, Defy Media has shuttered numerous websites and channels, mostly underperforming ones left over from the Alloy Digital and Break Media merger that formed the company. Among these former sites include MMA website CagePotato, Chickipedia, HolyTaco, AllLeftTuns, and TuVez. Defy Media has also sold off some brands to other companies.

Shut Up! Cartoons[edit]

Shut Up! Cartoons was launched as a spin-off of Smosh in April 2012.[41] It featured original cartoons and animated videos. The channel consistently ranked in the top 25 for weekly views.[42] Original animated series featured on the channel included Zombies vs. Ninjas, Pubertina, Krogzilla Gets a Job, Oishi High School Battle, Smosh Babies, and Paper Cuts. The channel ceased operations on June 23, 2017.

Screen Junkies[edit]

The site focuses on film and television related topics. The group also includes Screen Junkies News, formerly ClevverMovies.

ScreenJunkies is home for shows like Honest Trailers which is a series of parody trailers of films, The Screen Junkies Show which covers a variety of topics in film and television, and Movie Fights & TV Fights where cast debates various films or TV shows.

On October 6, 2017, co-creator Andy Signore was suspended by Defy Media after accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment made by female fans and coworkers became public.[43] Several of the women also claimed that complaints made to Defy Media's HR department and management about the incidents had been suppressed or ignored by the company for several months until the women involved made the allegations public. Two days later, Screen Junkies announced on their Twitter page that Signore's employment was terminated effective immediately as "there is no justification for this egregious and intolerable behavior."[44]

On July 2, 2018, it was announced the Defy Media sold Screen Junkies to Fandom.[45]

The Escapist[edit]

The Escapist was acquired by Alloy Digital in November 2012.[12] It targets video-game enthusiasts. In 2008, the site won a Webby Award[46] and a People’s Voice Award.[47] The Escapistmagazine.com website generates 28 million page views each month.[48] In 2012, The Escapist launched the Escapist Expo in Durham, North Carolina. The second annual took place in October 2013.[49]

The website was part of the AddictingGames Network alongside flash game site AddictingGames.com until The Escapist was sold to Enthusiast Gaming, the owner of Destructoid in 2018.[50]

In July 2018, Defy Media sold The Escapist to Canada’s Enthusiast Gaming.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Who We Are". DEFY Media. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  2. ^ Spangler, Todd (9 June 2014). "Viacom Acquires Stake in Defy Media".
  3. ^ "Smosh Owner Defy Media Raises $70M". hollywoodreporter.com.
  4. ^ "DEFY Media Closes $70MM Series B Investment". defymedia.com.
  5. ^ "Portfolio - ZMC".
  6. ^ Spangler, Todd (13 September 2016). "Defy Media, Digital Studio Behind Smosh, Raises $70 Million and Eyes Shows on Traditional TV". Variety. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  7. ^ "How Defy Media defied the YouTube network label". Digiday. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  8. ^ "Defy Media website". 2014. Retrieved 2014-02-07.
  9. ^ Defy Media. "Alloy Digital and Break Media Announce "Merger of Equals," Forming Leading Multi-Platform Media Company Focused on 12-34 Consumers". GlobeNewswire News Room.
  10. ^ Barbarino, Al (12 March 2013). "Growing Digital Firm Alloy Digital Relocates to 498 Seventh Avenue". Commercial Observer.
  11. ^ a b Heine, Christopher (2 August 2012). "Hulu Pushing Further Into Branded Entertainment With Alloy". AdWeek.
  12. ^ a b Graser, Marc (15 November 2012). "Alloy Digital buys website Escapist". Variety.
  13. ^ Warzel, Charlie (20 April 2012). "Alloy Digital Acquires B5Media Young adult media network doubles down on women's lifestyle content". AdWeek.
  14. ^ Strauss, Karsten (29 April 2013). "Killing Your Television: Inside Alloy Digital's Latest Acquisition". Forbes.
  15. ^ Wieselman, Jarett (23 October 2012). "SNEAK PEEK: 'CHASING STEVE AOKI'". The Insider.
  16. ^ Heine, Christopher (23 October 2012). "Xbox Spins New Web Reality Show". AdWeek.
  17. ^ "Rachel Zoe's 'Style Rules' Casting Contest!". Hollywire. 2011.
  18. ^ "Alloy Digital Wins 2012 Best Retail Integrated Ad Campaign, Best Of Show Integrated Ad Campaign Internet Advertising Award for Wendy, The Web Series". Web Marketing Association. 2012.
  19. ^ "TRESemmé® Unveils TRESemmé Style Setters; New Digital Series Launches with Actress Nikki Reed Taking Viewers Backstage at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week". Unilever. 12 March 2012.
  20. ^ "TRESemme Launches Multi-Phase Digital Campaign". MediaPost. 12 March 2012.
  21. ^ Taintor, David (7 June 2013). "Miller64 Debuts Web Series Featuring Pro Athletes Alloy Digital/DBG's 'The Sub' features Terrell Owens, Gary Payton, others". AdWeek.
  22. ^ "Media Metrix (Unduplicated reach for Alloy Digital and Digital Broadcasting Group)". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  23. ^ a b "Video Metrix (Unduplicated reach for Alloy Digital and Digital Broadcasting Group)". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  24. ^ "ZelnickMedia Completes Acquisition of Alloy, Inc. | ZMC". ZMC. Retrieved 2018-11-08.
  25. ^ Tim Peterson. (9 June 2014). "Viacom Takes Stake in Defy Media to Boost YouTube Presence - Digital - Advertising Age". adage.com.
  26. ^ Wang, Christine (2018-01-12). "Viacom, CBS shares surge after report Shari Redstone pursuing merge of companies". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  27. ^ "Shari Redstone withdraws CBS-Viacom merger proposal". Retrieved 2016-12-17.
  28. ^ "These 4 Tech, Media Giants Are In Talks To Buy Lionsgate". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  29. ^ "Lionsgate Ripe For Takeover As Amazon, Verizon and CBS-Viacom Emerge As Potential Suitors". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  30. ^ "CBS, Lionsgate, Viacom heat up media space M&A rumors". FierceCable. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  31. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-11-06). "Defy Media Is Shutting Down, Will Lay Off Employees". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  32. ^ "Defy Media, home of YouTube superstars Smosh, is shutting down". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  33. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-11-06). "Defy Media Is Shutting Down, Will Lay Off Employees". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  34. ^ a b Grossman, Lev (16 December 2006). "Smosh". TIME.
  35. ^ Pomerantz, Dorothy (25 January 2013). "Smosh's Ian And Anthony Are A New, Purely Digital, Breed Of Celebrity". Forbes.
  36. ^ "Media Metrix (www.Smosh.com)". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  37. ^ Del Rey, Jason (18 June 2012). "Alloy Digital Snaps Up YouTube Power Network Clevver Media". Ad Age.
  38. ^ "Media Metrix (Clevver)". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  39. ^ "YouTube Original Channel Tracker". AdAge. 20 July 2013.
  40. ^ "How Defy Media defies the 'built-if-sold' video programming model". digiday.com. 19 January 2016.
  41. ^ Arrant, Chris (13 April 2012). "SMOSH! Announces YouTube Animation Channel, Shut Up! Cartoons". Cartoon Brew.
  42. ^ "YouTube Original Channel Tracker". AdAge. July 2013.
  43. ^ "'Honest Trailers' Creator Andy Signore Accused of Sexual Abuse". The Hollywood Reporter. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  44. ^ Spangler, Todd (8 October 2017). "'Honest Trailers' Creator Andy Signore Fired for 'Egregious and Intolerable' Sexual Behavior". Variety. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  45. ^ Spangler, Todd (2 July 2018). "Fandom Acquires Screen Junkies From Defy Media". Variety. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  46. ^ Pitts, Russ (3 May 2011). "The Escapist's Webby Wins". The Escapist.
  47. ^ Helder, Kelly (4 May 2011). "Gaming Website Unlocks Lifestyle Achievement". The Escapist Magazine.
  48. ^ "Audience Overview". Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  49. ^ "The Escapist Expo". Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  50. ^ Spangler, Todd (July 26, 2018). "Defy Media Sells The Escapist Gaming Site to Canada's Enthusiast Gaming". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  51. ^ Spangler, Todd (2018-11-06). "Defy Media Is Shutting Down, Will Lay Off Employees". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-09.