|Launched||January 23, 2012|
|Closed||March 25, 2017[a]|
|Picture format||1080p/24 16:9|
|Headquarters||Woodland Hills, Los Angeles|
|Sister channel(s)||SourceFed Nerd, People Be Like, Super Panic Frenzy, Nuclear Family|
|SourceFed on YouTube|
SourceFed was a YouTube channel and news website created by Philip DeFranco in January 2012 as part of YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative, and was originally produced by James Haffner. SourceFed mainly focused on popular culture, news and technology.
SourceFed was a part of DeFranco's portfolio of Internet-based media properties, including his own eponymous news YouTube series. That portfolio was named DeFranco Creative and later renamed SourceFed Studios when acquired by Discovery Communications' Revision3.
On March 20, 2017, the cancellation of SourceFed, along with its SourceFed Nerd and People Be Like spinoffs, was announced.[‡ 1] The closure of the SourceFed Studios network was decided by the newly formed Group Nine Media, led by Discovery Communications, which was formed as a merger between SourceFed Studios and four other networks in October 2016. The final SourceFed video was a farewell live-stream broadcast on March 24, 2017.[‡ 2] Around the time of the closure of SourceFed Studios, the SourceFed channel had accumulated over 1.7 million subscriptions and 900 million video views.
- 1 History
- 2 Hosting
- 3 Content
- 4 Reception
- 5 References
Under DeFranco's ownership (2011–2013)
Development and launch
SourceFed was an idea Philip DeFranco had been considering as an evolution of his own YouTube series, The Philip DeFranco Show (PDS). In an interview with Forbes, DeFranco stated that he originally wanted to turn his daily show into several daily segments. He added that there was confusion among his audience when this format was tested, convincing DeFranco that he would need to create a new series to not alienate, but grow his audience.
The SourceFed YouTube channel was created in April 2011, and was originally based on a blog of the same name. The channel became defunct shortly afterwards. However, in late 2011, YouTube began its funding of original or premium content channels. Due to DeFranco's position as a YouTube partner, the website offered him funding for an original channel. The SourceFed channel he created was one of these channels. DeFranco revealed that he acquired the funding to launch the channel by originally promising YouTube that the channel would be run as a "celebrity gossip channel", and that it would consist of a single show rather than multiple different shows. However, DeFranco negotiated for less funding, in return to have creative control over the channel's content.[‡ 3] The funding was provided by YouTube, as the channel was part of YouTube's original content initiative. DeFranco hand-picked the first six hosts of SourceFed: Joe Bereta, Elliott Morgan, Lee Newton, Steve Zaragoza, Trisha Hershberger, and Meg Turney.[‡ 4] Additionally, SourceFed was originally produced by James Haffner.
The channel launched as an original channel on January 23, 2012. In 2012, Reuters reported that DeFranco had plans to create a news network. Along with the staple news show (20 Minutes or Less), five additional shows began airing within the first month of the channel's January 2012 launch: Curb Cash, One On One, DeFranco Inc.: Behind the Scenes, Comment Commentary and Bloopers. Curb Cash ended in March 2012. The New Movie Thing Show, a movie review series, and a movie club-style series titled The SourceFed Movie Club were launched in May 2012. Since then, SourceFed has debuted new additions to the channel's lineup. As additional content was being introduced, the SourceFed crew expanded, adding hosts and editors to its team.[‡ 5]
Launch year events and Nerd spinoff
In early 2012, the Maxim Hot 100 voting website crashed on multiple occasions. Bereta and Morgan claimed that these crashes coincided with them telling their audience through 20 Minutes or Less to vote for Newton as a write-in candidate.[‡ 6] Maxim did not address their claims, but did come out with an article noting that Newton had "list potential". In May, it was announced that Lee Newton placed 57th on the 2012 Maxim Hot 100 list.
In March 2012, Philip DeFranco announced that he would take the SourceFed crew to VidCon 2012. The four hosts (Morgan, Newton, Bereta, and Zaragoza) of 20 Minutes or Less, along with DeFranco, had a Q&A panel and performed at VidCon 2012.
SourceFed hosts Meg Turney and Elliott Morgan, along with Philip DeFranco, presented a series of videos as part of YouTube's "Election Hub" during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the 2012 Republican National Convention, and joined journalists during live coverage streamed at the end of each night of the conventions. A public relations representative for YouTube stated “Having awesome partners like Philip DeFranco involved will attract younger viewers and he will have a really fresh take on politics". YouTube's "Election Hub" channels for major news networks only received several hundred views, whilst DeFranco's videos on Election Hub received tens of thousands. It was put down to it being in an 'experimental stage'. Most of the partners of Election Hub, excluding DeFranco, Al Jazeera English and BuzzFeed, struggled to garner 1,000 views of their on-demand content during the RNC. During the videos, Turney predicted that the DNC will not make a difference for young voters. During the conventions, SourceFed uploaded videos explaining them. #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage, a five-hour live event hosted by SourceFed and DeFranco, was nominated for a Streamy Award for Best Live Event.
Philip DeFranco later created a spinoff channel, SourceFed Nerd (stylized as SourceFedNERD), which was announced on May 16, 2013.[‡ 4] A teaser trailer was released, promising the debut of the channel on May 20.[‡ 7] The New Movie Thing Show, The SourceFed Movie Club, and #TableTalk were moved from the original SourceFed channel to the Nerd channel. The spinoff channel hosted a live version of the #TableTalk series during the YouTube Comedy Week in 2013. The online stream was received well, being successful in terms of both raw viewership, as well as viewer retention.
Under Discovery and Revision3 (2013–17)
In June 2013, Philip DeFranco sold SourceFed along with the other channels under his DeFranco Creative portfolio to Revision3. DeFranco also became an executive of Revision3 and the Senior Vice President of Philip DeFranco Networks and Merchandise as a result of the move. DeFranco's sxephil channel, on which he hosted the PDS, was already signed under the Revision3 network. Revision3 itself was acquired by Discovery Communications in 2012, which was noted by The Verge to be Discovery's "first major play into the expanding web television [or digital media] market." By the beginning of 2014, Discovery began calling its digital branch by the name Discovery Digital Networks in their company blog.
While discussing the cancellation of SourceFed in 2017, DeFranco detailed that after selling his DeFranco Creative umbrella to Revision3, he began to have less involvement in SourceFed, before having no involvement at all.[‡ 4] DeFranco expressed, "for you [long time viewers of SourceFed] who know what the original content was, and what it is now, you know that it's like, it's pretty much a completely different channel—both in content and the people running it."[‡ 4] In June 2016, DeFranco made his earliest public clarification that he has "no hands on the creative decisions [made] on [SourceFed]."[‡ 8]
During 2013, SourceFed was announced to be a sponsor of that year's VidCon, as well as special guests of the event. The event would be held in August. During the event, the couch featured on Comment Commentary was "eaten" by Sharkzilla, the mascot of Shark Week. DeFranco previously hosted Discovery Channel's Shark Week event. While at VidCon 2013, DeFranco gathered 554 people to play Ninja, a playground game, claiming the amount would be a world record. SourceFed also made appearances at VidCon in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
On September 19, 2013, the SourceFed Nerd channel reached 500,000 subscribers.[‡ 9] On the Nerd channel, several topics relating to nerd culture are covered. When conventions related to the fields of gaming and technology, such as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), occur, the channel sends some of its hosting personalities to cover news from the convention. During her time on the channel, Trisha Hershberger was a frequent on-field reporter, as well as generally associated with discussing tech news.
In April 2014, it was announced that Elliott Morgan and Meg Turney would both be leaving SourceFed by the end of the month.[‡ 10] They were the first hosts to ever leave SourceFed, something which would occur frequently after their precedent. Morgan and Turney, like the hosts which would leave after them, appeared in other online media promptly after their departures; Morgan would work with Mashable, while Turney would become part of Rooster Teeth's personnel.
2014 celebrity photo leak video
|Charity Refuses Money From The Fappening!|
In September 2014, Zaragoza and Newton hosted a news story covering various charities' refusal of donations from Reddit, following the then-recent celebrity nude photo leaks.[‡ 12] The video received criticism from the SourceFed fanbase, and according to StatSheep, the channel lost over 20,000 subscribers. Additionally, nude photos claiming to be of Hershberger were leaked onto the internet as part of the hacks that Zaragoza and Newton covered. However, Hershberger quickly debunked the claims, posting pictures of her birthmarks, proving the leaked photos did not feature her.
Following the controversy, Zaragoza posted a message onto his Reddit account defending his stances he presented in the video. DeFranco also took to Reddit, stating that the significant drop in subscribers was either due to "an error of that individual stats website or YouTube removing dead accounts." Additionally, in response to requests or demands in favor of removing or firing any hosts, DeFranco stated, "No. I let SourceFed control their own creative." The video has slightly more dislikes than likes.[‡ 12]
2016 Google−Hillary Clinton video
|Did Google Manipulate Search for Hillary?|
In June 2016, SourceFed uploaded a video titled Did Google Manipulate Search for Hillary?, discussing whether or not Google manipulated search results to display Hillary Clinton in an untruthful positive light.[‡ 13] At the time, Clinton was the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Matt Lieberman, the host for the video, suggested that Google's autofill feature pulls up results for Clinton's crime reform, despite "hillary clinton crime" being a more popular search term than "Hillary Clinton crime reform". During the video, Lieberman stated, "Thanks to the help of our editor Spencer Reed, SourceFed has discovered that Google has been actively altering search recommendations in favor of Hillary Clinton's campaign so quietly that we were unable to see it for what it was until today." Lieberman went on to claim that "The intention is clear: Google is burying potential searches for terms that could have hurt Hillary Clinton in the primary elections over the past several months."
The video attracted considerably more media attention than other SourceFed uploads, as it was referred to in posts by USA Today, The Washington Times, Business Insider, and The Globe and Mail, among other outlets. Shane Dingman, writing for The Globe and Mail opined that "This conspiracy theory post is not typical fare for comedy-focused SourceFed to offer its 1.7 million subscribers." Nick Corasaniti of the New York Times wrote that the "conspiracy theory [about Google suppressing negative news in search results about Hillary Clinton] began with a video from the online outlet SourceFed that went viral this year, and quickly garnered headlines on conservative news sites like Breitbart and InfoWars."
Additionally, the video's claims also drew responses from Google, Donald Trump (the Republican Party's presumptive nominee for President of United States), and SourceFed's creator, Philip DeFranco. Trump stated that if SourceFed's claims were true, "it is a disgrace that Google would do that." DeFranco accounted that many of his fans wanted to know his thoughts on the video, due to his past ties with SourceFed.[‡ 8] In his response, he clarified that he had no creative control on the channel's uploads, and went on to say that the video's claims were "potentially concerning," adding "I think and I'm hoping that there's a non-nefarious explanation, [...] personally, I would love to hear from Google if they would issue a statement on this."[‡ 8] Google did indeed respond, defending its search engine; one representative of the company stated "Google Autocomplete does not favor any candidate or cause. Claims to the contrary simply misunderstand how Autocomplete works. Our Autocomplete algorithm will not show a predicted query that is offensive or disparaging when displayed in conjunction with a person's name." Matt Cutts, Google's former head of their web spam team, called the video's claims "simply false." Cutts also reported that SourceFed did not reach out to Google prior to uploading their video.
Group Nine Media merger and cancellation
By 2016, Discovery eventually renamed Revision3 and DeFranco Creative as Seeker and SourceFed Studios, respectively. Additionally, Seeker's website's about page had SourceFed's properties listed under their ownership. SourceFed Studios encapsulated SourceFed and Nerd, as well as the PDS.
Discovery Digital Networks ceased to exist in late 2016, as Discovery Communications sold its assets into a new digital media holding company, Group Nine Media. Group Nine therefore merged Thrillist Media Group, NowThis Media, and The Dodo with Discovery's Seeker and SourceFed Studios. Although SourceFed doubled its video views year-over-year, Discovery's CCO Paul Guyardo stated that the merger occurred due to a need for "more scale, more brand and more resources."
On March 20, 2017, the four hosts of SourceFed's primary channel at the time—Ava Gordy, Mike Falzone, Candace Carrizales, and Steven Suptic—released a video addressing the cancellation of SourceFed as well as its SourceFed Nerd and People Be Like spinoffs.[‡ 1] They also announced the schedule for the channel's final week; a podcast, a Comment Commentary episode, a usual white wall-styled video, and a live-streamed farewell video were announced for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, respectively.[‡ 1] The announcement came as the main SourceFed channel had amassed just over 1.7 million subscribers and 906 million video views in its run. The decision to close the SourceFed Studios network was made by Group Nine Media. DeFranco clarified on Twitter that he had no involvement with the decision to dissolve SourceFed Studios.
The final Nerd and People Be Like videos were released on March 24, 2017.[‡ 14][‡ 15] SourceFed's final video was also uploaded, which doubled as the intro for the channel's 6 hour final live stream.[‡ 2][‡ 16]On May 4, 2017, the SourceFed Nerd channel was rebranded as NowThis Nerd without prior knowledge and against the wishes of the former hosts. This action received backlash from viewers and former hosts. The Nerd channel lost over 20,000 subscribers within the first five hours of the NowThis rebranding. On July 3, 2017, NowThis Nerd reverted the channel back to SourceFed Nerd and deleted the content made since the rebranding. The SourceFed Nerd was left up to serve as an archive of the original content and NowThis Nerd became its own separate channel.
In January 2018, the four original hosts of SourceFed (Bereta, Morgan, Newton, and Zaragoza) announced they would be launching a new YouTube comedy channel and podcast, The Valleyfolk, in order to work together again.
When the channel launched in 2012, YouTube content creator Joe Bereta of Barats and Bereta, actor Elliott Morgan, and comedian Lee Newton, were introduced as the original three hosts of SourceFed. DeFranco, who hand-selected the three,[‡ 4] also appeared as a host for the channel's first two weeks. DeFranco also hand-selected a second batch of three hosts (Trisha Hershberger, Meg Turney, and Steve Zaragoza) who debuted on the channel in 2012.[‡ 4] After the launch of Nerd, Bereta, Morgan, and Newton primarily hosted on the main SourceFed news channel; Hershberger, Turney, and Zaragoza primarily hosted on the Nerd channel. All but Zaragoza would eventually leave the channel throughout 2014 and 2015,[‡ 17] although Zaragoza would become a part-time host in 2016, opting to focus on sister channel Nuclear Family. However, these hosts later made guest appearances on the channel after their depatrues, and Morgan specifically was briefly brought back on the main channel to host The Study.
Ross Everett was introduced as the seventh on-camera host, after spending time as a writer for the series. In April 2014, DeFranco announced Everett was moved back to his writing position. However, near the end of the month, Everett announced his departure from SourceFed in a Tumblr blog post. Amidst the 2014 departures of Everett, Morgan, and Turney, SourceFed brought on William Haynes, Matt Lieberman, and Reina Scully in March 2014, serving as the de facto replacements for the former.[‡ 18] While Haynes and Lieberman stayed on with SourceFed through its cancellation, Scully left the company in August 2016.[‡ 19]
With Bereta, Hershberger, and Newton's departures in late 2014 and early 2015, new hosts were brought on. On February 24, 2015, Sam Bashor accepted an offer to become an official host on the SourceFed and Nerd channels. He was previously a writer for the channels and made several appearances in videos. He was also the host for DeFranco's merchandising branch, ForHumanPeoples, which he would leave to join SourceFed as a host. Early 2015 would also see YouTube personalities Steven Suptic and Bree Essrig, as well as Australian TV & radio host Maude Garrett join SourceFed. While Essrig and Garrett joined Bashor in hosting on SourceFed and Nerd, Suptic joined to launch the gaming-focused sister channel, SuperPanicFrenzy (SPF). In addition to Suptic, Scully would also be a presence on SPF. Additionally in 2015, Haynes, Liberman, and Essrig began hosting and producing content for separate sister channels; Haynes worked on People Be Like (PBL), and Lieberman and Essrig worked on Nuclear Family.
Early 2016 saw Mike Falzone join the main channel as the host of a revised form of #TableTalk, which was brought back to SourceFed's main channel content output. SPF was shut down in April 2016, causing Suptic to be temporarily released from the staff and Scully to return as a host on the Nerd channel.[‡ 20] In June, Yessica Hernandez-Cruz was introduced as William Haynes' co-host on PBL.[‡ 21] In addition to Scully's departure, Garrett also left the Nerd channel in August.[‡ 19][‡ 22] Coinciding with their departures, Ava Gordy and Candance Carrizales were introduced as hosts on the main SourceFed channel.[‡ 23][‡ 24] Additionally, recurring SourceFed guest Whitney Moore, and writer and comedian Filup Molina joined Bashor as full-time hosts on the Nerd channel. Suptic was brought back on the staff in September.
- Host timeline
- Guest hosts
The main series on the SourceFed channel was SourceFed News'. The series featured 1–2 hosts presenting news stories, and covering a variety of topics. Episodes of the series were presented in a comedic daily newscast format. During his tenure on the series, Bereta was the head writer for SourceFed.
Early in its run, SourceFed's news series was titled 20 Minutes or Less, as five news stories would be covered daily throughout separate videos totaling 20 minutes or less. Due to only presenting five stories a day, stories covered on SourceFed often "cross-pollinated", or were influenced by news stories on the PDS. SourceFed's news stories are also referred to as "white wall" videos. George Watsky's music was commonly used throughout the series in the background.[‡ 25]
Notable additional programming on main channel
In addition to daily news coverage, the SourceFed channels produced and uploaded several shows.
|Title||Premiere date||Finale date||Description||Ref(s)||Playlist|
|Comment Commentary||January 27, 2012||March 22, 2017[b]||Comment Commentary was the second-longest running series on the SourceFed channel, behind only the main SourceFed News. The series featured the hosts voicing their commentary on the viewers' comments that were posted on the main SourceFed videos.||||[‡ 26][‡ 27][‡ 28]|
|One on One||January 29, 2012||February 11, 2013||One on One was an interview-style show, where a member of SourceFed interviews an individual.||||[‡ 29]|
|The New Movie Thing Show||May 11, 2012||January 23, 2015[c]||The New Movie Thing Show was a film review series that launched around the same time as the similarly-constructed SourceFed Movie Club series.[‡ 30] It was originally hosted by Philip DeFranco and Steve Zaragoza; the series later alternated hosts. A clip from TNMTS was used as a point of criticism against SourceFed.||||[‡ 31]|
|#TableTalk||February 19, 2013||March 19, 2017[d]||A series that featured three of the SourceFed hosts—and occasionally DeFranco or guests from other industries—speaking about topics and questions that viewers suggested through Twitter, Reddit, or the comment section of previous episodes.||||[‡ 32]|
|People Be Like||August 31, 2014[e]||March 24, 2017||People Be Like was hosted by William Haynes, who shared his thoughts on the world, while mainly focusing on Internet culture, trends, and occurrences.||||[‡ 34]|
|The Study ft. Elliott C. Morgan||August 22, 2015||April 23, 2016||The Study was a satirical political news show hosted by Elliott Morgan.||||[‡ 35]|
On May 26, 2012, the SourceFed YouTube channel reached the 100 million video view milestone. From May to December 2012, Deadline Hollywood tracked the weekly views of all the original premium channels on YouTube. The channel was consistently one of the top original channels every week. On August 1, 2012, SourceFed became the first of the YouTube original channels to reach 500,000 subscribers. In celebration of the event, 20 Minutes or Less uploaded a special video onto SourceFed that featured clips of SourceFed's audience congratulating them and stating the reason that they subscribed to the channel. SourceFed is one of the most popular YouTube original channels, as the channel earns over 20 million monthly views and has a Slate Score of 736. The Wall Street Journal noted that it was hard to figure out why the simplicity of the idea behind SourceFed has been able to receive mass appeal. However, due to its success, SourceFed was among the 30-40% of original channels to be renewed by YouTube in November 2012. The Nerd spinoff channel hosted a live #TableTalk event during YouTube Comedy Week in 2013, which received over 41,000 streams. On July 14, 2013, the SourceFed channel reached one million subscribers.[‡ 36]
SourceFed was nominated for four awards at the 3rd Streamy Awards, winning in the Audience Choice for Series of the Year category. After winning the Streamy Audience Choice Award for Series of the Year, SourceFed was criticized; The Atlantic criticized an episode of The New Movie Thing Show, and went on to comment, "The audience pick for series of the year went to SourceFed, which consists of short clips of people explaining things in loud, fast voices," and "It's not even close to quality programming. Just something goofy to watch online." The following year, SourceFed won the award for News and Current Events Series.
Awards and nominations
|2013||3rd Streamy Awards||Best News and Culture Series||Nominated||SourceFed channel|
|Best Live Series||Nominated||(SourceFed: The Nation Decides 2012)|
|Best Live Event||Nominated||(SourceFed: #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage)|
|Audience Choice for Series of the Year||Won||SourceFed channel|
|2014||4th Streamy Awards||Audience Choice for Channel, Show, or Series of the Year||Nominated||SourceFed channel|
|Gaming||Nominated||SourceFed Nerd channel|
|News and Current Events Series||Won||SourceFed channel|
|2015||5th Streamy Awards||Audience Choice for Channel, Show, or Series of the Year||Nominated||SourceFed channel|
|Best News and Culture Series||Nominated||SourceFed channel|
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- Primary video and playlist sources
In the text these references are preceded by a double dagger (‡):
- SourceFed's Final Week. SourceFed. YouTube. March 20, 2017. Archived from the original on March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
- SourceFed (March 24, 2017). SourceFed Says Goodbye: The Final Livestream. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- Table Talk: SourceFed UK, EVIL JOE, and Drugs!!. SourceFed. YouTube. May 22, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Why People Are Freaking Out Over Tomi Lahren's Suspension and Comments. The Philip DeFranco Show. YouTube. March 1, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
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- Morgan, Elliott; Bereta, Joe (April 3, 2012). Hottest Girls for Maxim Update. SourceFed. YouTube. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- NEW CHANNEL FROM SOURCEFED!!!!. SourceFedNERD. YouTube. May 16, 2013. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- DeFranco, Philip (June 9, 2016). GUESS WHO GOT BEAT UP LAST NIGHT?! …and there’s video of it. OUCH!. The Philip DeFranco Show. YouTube. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- SourceFedNERD Hits 500,000 Subscribers!. SourceFedNERD. YouTube. September 19, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
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- SourceFed Nerd was replaced by NowThis Nerd on May 4, 2017. The content of the latter was removed on July 3, 2017, and the channel reverted to SourceFed Nerd.
- Originally ran from January 27, 2012 through February 27, 2015. The series returned on December 17, 2016 and ended on March 22, 2017.
- Ended on the Nerd channel after premiering on the SourceFed channel.
- From May 2013 to May 2016, #TableTalk was uploaded onto the Nerd spinoff channel.
- The series began on the SourceFed channel and was moved onto its own channel in August 2015, with episodes beginning to air on the channel in September.[‡ 33]