Philip DeFranco

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Philip DeFranco
Philip Defranco.jpg
DeFranco in 2018
Personal information
BornPhilip James Franchini Jr.
(1985-12-01) December 1, 1985 (age 34)
ResidenceSherman Oaks, California, U.S.
  • YouTube personality
  • entrepreneur
Lindsay Doty (m. 2015)
YouTube information
Years active2006–present
  • News
  • current Events
  • vlogging
Subscribers6.40 million (Philip DeFranco)
1.27 million (Philly D)
Total views2.72 billion (Philip DeFranco)
256.85 million (Philly D)
NetworkPhilip DeFranco Network & Merchandise
(Discovery Digital Networks) (2012–2017)
Rogue Rocket (2017–present)
Associated acts
Catchphrase(s)2008–2011 "Oh, didn't see you there!"

2011–2016 "'Sup Nation!"

2016–present "'Sup you beautiful bastards!"
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2008
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2010

Philip James DeFranco[1] (born Philip James Franchini Jr.;[2] born December 1, 1985), sometimes known online as PhillyD or sXePhil, is a news commentator and an American YouTube personality. He is best known for The Philip DeFranco Show, a news commentary show centered on current events in politics and pop culture that has a playlist of over 1,000 videos since 2014 as well as his growing news network, Rogue Rocket.

DeFranco has also been involved in the creation of other successful channels on YouTube, including personal vlog channel Philly D, Google-funded news channel Sourcefed, gaming channel Super Panic Frenzy, and family vlog channel TheDeFrancoFam. His network of channels has over two billion views, and over six million total subscribers, with his primary channel having accumulated over 6.4 million subscribers and 2.7 billion views, as of September, 2019. Over his decade-long YouTube career, he has won various awards for his achievements in online content.

Since regaining control over his properties from the Discovery Network in May 2017, DeFranco has been working towards building the Rogue Rocket network in order to broaden his content.[3] On April 22, 2019, the Rogue Rocket website was launched.[4]

Early life[edit]

DeFranco was born Philip James Franchini Jr. in The Bronx, New York City, New York.[1][5][6] He has a stepmother who works at a car dealership.[7] He is of Italian descent.[8]

He has been a student at the University of South Florida,[9] a biology student at Asheville–Buncombe Technical Community College,[10][11] and later a junior at East Carolina University.[12] In 2007, Phil was living in Tampa, Florida, and later Atlanta, Georgia.[12] He also worked as a waiter in a number of restaurants while making videos in 2007.[13]

DeFranco lived in a car until moving back with his father in Tampa, Florida, on condition that he would return to college, which he ultimately did not do.[14]


Early years (2007–2011)[edit]

DeFranco (holding mic) at VidCon 2010

DeFranco began his YouTube career during his finals at East Carolina University when he created his YouTube channel, calling it The Philip DeFranco Show (registered as sxephil), in which he talks about "newsie type stuff, and things that matter to [him] today."[14][15]

Before the YouTube partner program was available, he asked for donations from his viewers after claiming to have run out of money, and selling everything except his Mac, camera, and clothes, and overdrawing his bank account so he could spend a night in a hotel as he found it too scary sleeping in a car in Brooklyn.[16]

An online viewer census from 2007 showed that one-third of his viewers were 16- and 17-year-old girls.[17] In the same year, DeFranco opened his second YouTube channel, "PhilipDeFranco", which includes a series of vlogs which he calls "The Vloggity".[18]

In August 2007, DeFranco conducted an experiment by uploading a video titled "Big Boobs and You". The video's thumbnail image was what the title described, except that the image only flashed for a split second. The rest of the video's content was DeFranco talking. It quickly became his most successful video at the time, with 1.8 million views. From then on he changed his content to sex, gossip, and news.[19]

DeFranco used his large audience to win the Spore Creature Creator, a game promotion competition, and in doing so beat celebrities such as Stan Lee, Katy Perry, and Elijah Wood.[20] The winner's prize was to choose which charity would receive a donation of $15,000. He chose the PKD Foundation,[21] an organization dedicated to fighting polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which he attributed to his family's history with the condition.[12] DeFranco's large online audience also enabled him to win Wired's Sexiest Geek of 2008 competition, a reader voted contest.[22]

In 2009, he claimed in an interview to have a salary of over $250,000 from a number of sources on the internet, not just YouTube, but later denied it in several videos.[12] In February 2012, DeFranco claimed he paid himself $100,000 a year, and reinvests the rest back into his company.[23][24] He has been paid by companies to create videos to promote Carl's Jr.'s burgers,[25] and the US television series Lie to Me and Fringe.[26]

DeFranco was a founding member of The Station, but left only a few months after it was created.[23] DeFranco also launched Like Totally Awesome (LTA), in which video reviews submitted by viewers are compiled into a single video. Reviews submitted cover movies, video games, and technology.[27] The show was run by Sarah Penna, the creator of the YouTube multi-channel network Big Frame.[28] Early in his YouTube career, Penna aided DeFranco, securing him coverage in news articles and magazines, such as Fast Company. Mekanism, an advertising agency, was hired to promote him.[29][30] In July 2010, along with Toby Turner, DeFranco co-created CuteWinFail, an online series which has been described by one ReadWrite writer as "essentially the YouTube equivalent of America's Funniest Home Videos."[31]

Hooking Up[edit]

In October 2008, DeFranco co-starred with Jessica Rose and Kevin Wu in Hooking Up, written and acted by Woody Tondorf as a promo from HBOLabs (the online arm of HBO). Hooking Up is a scripted 10-episode Web-based series set at a fictional university where the students spend most of their time emailing and using Facebook, but still manage to miscommunicate.[32][33]

Guest appearances on Hooking Up have been made by Kevin Nalty, Michael Buckley, and other popular Internet celebrities.[34]

By the show's second day on YouTube, it had received more than 450,000 views.[35][36] Bobbie Johnson of The Guardian said that many Web surfers have "scoffed at what they see as a cynical attempt to cash in."[37]

DeFranco at VidCon 2012

Discovery/Group Nine years (2012–2017)[edit]

In early 2012, DeFranco signed with Revision3.[38][39][40] Later in the year, DeFranco hosted the 25th anniversary of Discovery Channel's Shark Week.[40][41][42][43]

In September 2012, it was reported that DeFranco received almost 30 million views a month.[41]

In January 2013, DeFranco took part in a Google+ Hangout with United States Vice President Joe Biden and Guy Kawasaki, discussing gun laws.[44][45] DeFranco was a guest judge on the second season of Internet Icon.[46]

In May 2013, DeFranco's assets, including The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed, were acquired by Revision3, which itself was a subsidiary of Discovery Digital Networks.[47][48] Upon the acquisition, DeFranco became added as an exec of Revision3, the Senior VP of a new Revision3 subsidiary, Phil DeFranco Networks and Merchandise.[49][50] DeFranco spoke with Jon Erlichman about his partnership with Revision3 following the deal.[51] In October 2013, as part of his new network, DeFranco launched another channel, ForHumanPeoples.[52]

In November 2013, DeFranco was a special guest in a live pre-show simulcast for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary from YouTube Space LA.[53] Additionally, DeFranco has organized live shows and meetup events in locations such as Arizona, Los Angeles, and Toronto.[54][55][56]

DeFranco aspired to have launched channels within his network by the end of 2013, though due to "the logistical complications of joining Discovery, adding staff and strategizing the future," those plans did not materialize.[57] DeFranco later planned 2014 to be the year that he would begin launching new channels.[57] These plans once again fell through, but in 2015, DeFranco was involved in the launching of Super Panic Frenzy, a gaming network, including a YouTube channel and a Twitch live-stream show.[58][59]

Defranco at VidCon 2014

In January 2012, DeFranco launched SourceFed, which at the time was produced by James Haffner.[60][61][62] DeFranco, along with SourceFed co-hosts Elliott Morgan and Meg Turney, joined journalists at the 2012 Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention as part of YouTube's "Elections Hub".[14][63][64] The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed were nominated for awards in the 3rd installment of the Streamy Awards.[65]


Due to joining YouTube in 2006 and soon gaining a sizable audience on the website, DeFranco has been described by Lucas Shaw of TheWrap as "one of the first video bloggers to find success on YouTube, and has since built", as well as having an, "entrepreneurial spirit and understanding of YouTube".[57] David Cornell of The Inquisitr News writes that DeFranco is "one of the leading sources of news" on YouTube, later adding, "Philip DeFranco is a YouTube success story."[66] Alex Iansiti of Huffington Post noted, "The Philip DeFranco Show is a great example of a media company to sprout out of YouTube".[67] The Los Angeles Times has described DeFranco as, "the Walter Cronkite for the YouTube generation who generates hundreds of headlines in under 10 minutes".[68] Sarah Kessler of Fast Company has referred to DeFranco as his generation's "Jon Stewart, if not Rupert Murdoch and News Corp".[69]

BetterHelp controversy[edit]

In October 2018, BetterHelp gained attention from YouTube personalities after concerns were raised about alleged use of unfair pricing, paid reviews from actors, and questionable terms of service.[70] Along with creators like Shane Dawson, DeFranco faced backlash for being among their most high-profile supporters. Both DeFranco and BetterHelp CEO Alon Matas addressed the issue, giving statements to Polygon's Julia Alexander.[71] On October 15, DeFranco tweeted that he had formally ended his relationship with BetterHelp.[72]

Political and religious views[edit]

Politically, he is a libertarian[73] and voted for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson in the 2012 United States presidential election.[73] DeFranco has described his political views as, "fiscally conservative, socially liberal, for the most part."[74] DeFranco has used cannabis in the past, stating, "I have a prescription and I take it to sleep. Also if it makes the movie I'm falling asleep to 10x funnier, that is a side effect I am ok with."[75]

DeFranco was raised Catholic, but later became an atheist.[76]

Personal life[edit]

DeFranco has polycystic kidney disease which he inherited from his father and grandfather.[12]

As of 2017, DeFranco lives in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles with his wife, travel vlogger Lindsay Jordan DeFranco (née Doty) and their two sons. DeFranco proposed to Lindsay, then his longtime girlfriend, on August 16, 2013 at his "DeFranco Loves Dat AZ" show in Tempe, Arizona.[77][78] Their first son, named Philip James "Trey" DeFranco III, was born in 2014.[79] The couple married on March 7, 2015, and it was captured on social media.[80][81] Their second son, Carter William DeFranco, was born in 2017.[82]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Category Award Result Ref.
2008 Philip DeFranco Sexiest Geek Wired magazine Won [22]
2010 God of the Year 2nd Streamy Awards Nominated [83]
2013 The Philip DeFranco Show Best News Series 2nd IAWTV Awards Won [84]
Best Writing (Non-Fiction) Nominated [85]
Best First-Person Series 3rd Streamy Awards Nominated [65]
Best News and Culture Series Won [65]
SourceFed Nominated [65]
Audience Choice for Best Series of the Year Won [65]
Best Live Series Nominated [65]
SourceFed: #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage Best Live Event Nominated [65]
2014 The Philip DeFranco Show Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year 4th Streamy Awards Nominated [86]
SourceFed News and Current Events Won [86]
Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year Nominated [86]
SourceFed Nerd Gaming Nominated [86]
2015 The Philip DeFranco Show Best News and Culture Series 5th Streamy Awards Nominated [87]
Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year Nominated [87]
2016 The Philip DeFranco Show Best News and Culture Series 6th Streamy Awards Won [88]
Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year Won [88]
2017 The Philip DeFranco Show Best News and Culture Series 7th Streamy Awards Nominated [89]
Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year Nominated [90]
2018 The Philip DeFranco Show Best News and Culture Series 8th Streamy Awards Won [91]
Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year Nominated [91]

See also[edit]


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