Defy Media

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Defy Media, LLC
Alloy Digital
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
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
Clevver Entertainment

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.


Defy Media owned and operated online brands including Smosh,[11] Shut Up! Cartoons, Smosh Games, Clevver Media,, The Escapist,[12], 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, 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]


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


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 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 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 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]


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