President Keith Richman Challenges the Accountability of other Publishers to their Programming, Touts Defy’s Success Across Brands
At its Newfront Presentation, Defy Media proudly beat its chest about the scale of its presentation, which was held at the Playstation Center, and drew comparison to the others who have scaled down or bowed out entirely.
Richman also took jabs as the traditional media companies, reminding those in the audience that while television executives at the forthcoming Upfronts will claim their audience is “getting younger,” the word “younger” still means 45 years on average, which is lower than the previous average of 55 years, and is most definitely younger than the grandfathers running the major media companies.
“At least video companies are making content,” Richman said. “But most digital companies just talk about making content and then they don’t make it or they exist in this viral video world trying to conquer the news feed with seen and forgot programming. Companies are dropping out of the NewFronts faster than Fox News advertisers. And people complain about YouTube being brand safe,” he joked.
In comparison, Richman bantered how the company, which has gotten itself a new, edgy logo, is holding itself accountable to its prior year’s announcements — “If we talk about it, we’re committed to making it.” To prove it, he revisited four key questions CEO Matt Diamond posed at the end of the 2016 presentation that served as a checks and balances for content production and performance.
The answers to those benchmarks were staggering. Defy’s commitment to produce over 30 shows resulted in 35 last year alone across its brands. Engagement and viewership across those shows climbed. DEFY empowered their own talent to build meaningful IP. And, programming that DEFY released was renewed and acclaimed in the media. 70 million followers and 20+ distribution deals later, Defy Media has good reason to toot its own horn.
“It a lot of ways we have a champagne problem because we have so many powerful brands and so much programming that we create in house to talk about,” Richman concluded noting that the main focus of the presentation would be Clevver, SMOSH and ScreenJunkies, all of which announced new shows as well as renewals (listed below).
“A lot of media companies and content brands are dying off. In some cases, maybe not dying fast enough. So how can you tell who’s poised for extinction,” said Defy CMO Andy Tu, referencing the T-Shirt Test and whether a consumer is embedded into a brand’s world to the extent she will rock a T-Shirt with branding. To close the presentation Tu takes a hit at traditional media again, challenging whether traditional networks pass the T-Shirt Test like Defy-owned brands do.
Below are Defy’s Series Announcements and Renewals (drawn from a release):
It Got Real
REAL STORIES ABOUT REAL LIFE: It Got Real is Clevver’s new docu-series that gives fans unprecedented access to the real lives of the hosts. In its premiere season, Clevver host and producer Erin Robinson takes viewers on her brave journey as she struggles with her recently diagnosed fibroid tumors.
Clevver Takes On
EVERYDAY PROBLEMS SOLVED…THE CLEVVER WAY: Almost every day young women are faced with new real-world challenges that can be daunting as they grow older. Clevver Takes On is a show unlike anything else for female millennials, and leaves its viewers with the confidence and empowerment to take on some of life’s important, and maybe intimidating, challenges.
WITNESS THE FITNESS: Get Jacked is Clevver’s energetic new show where fitness bucket lists are conquered and healthy living takes the spotlight. Each episode showcases a unique and adventurous workout guaranteed to entertain, educate, and elevate the viewer’s fitness game.
Not Quite Cancelled
A SCRIPTED BTS LOOK AT THE INSANITY OF A TV SERIES THAT HAS ALREADY JUMPED THE SHARK…MULTIPLE TIMES: Not Quite Cancelled is SMOSH’s new scripted series that peels back the curtain on the making of a fledgling TV show to reveal the drama and debacles of its eccentric cast and crew.
One Hour Song Machine
MAKING MUSIC IS HARD, BUT IT’S EVEN HARDER WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE AN HOUR!: SMOSH music videos have always been some of the most popular content; not just on its own channels, but on YouTube as a whole. In 2005, the very first video SMOSH ever posted on YouTube was a Pokémon parody song — which drove 29MM views in record time. Now, the brand is taking music videos to a whole new level as host Keith Leak Jr, his musical friends, and special guest stars create one-of-a-kind songs inspired by random items in a mystery box. But, there’s a major catch — they only have one hour to complete the task.
Operation: Open World
THE NO RESERVATIONS OF GAMING: SMOSH Games’ Jovenshire and Mari couldn’t be more different, but they’re teaming up to explore the world and take fans inside the games they know and love. In Operation: Open World, these friends travel to some of the biggest gaming and non-gaming events around the world. Fans will join Mari and Jovenshire as they journey to places like the Tokyo Game Show, Oktoberfest, and maybe even Carnival — all while having fun and adding their own flare to the adventures.
Galaxy Quest: A ScreenJunkies Documentary
A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT A MOVIE ABOUT THE CAST OF A FAKE TV SHOW: In its first-ever full-length feature documentary, ScreenJunkies delivers an in-depth look behind the making of one of the most popular comedy science fiction films ever — Galaxy Quest.
A NEW TALK SHOW FROM A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY: Jenny Nicholson, known for her dry sense of humor and comedic wit when it comes to talking about all things movies and TV, is coming to ScreenJunkies News this summer! Millennial Falcon offers up a deep dive into the Star Wars universe and all other things Disney, exploring breaking news and all of the nerdy minutia in-between — from new Star Wars trailer breakdowns to figuring out exactly what a Tatooine moisture farmer does all day.
YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT THESE HOSTS ARE DOING. READ TO FIND OUT!: FlickBait is the fun, weekly movie news round-up show that breaks down the latest headlines and gets viewers involved in the discussion. Hosted by the Emmy nominated Honest Trailers writers, each episode revolves around “clickbait” headlines and is discussed in revolving segments by each host.
SMOSH WENT LIVE, AND THE WORLD RESPONDED: Last summer, SMOSH and 5 Gum broke digital content barriers with a live, professionally rendered variety and sketch-comedy show reminiscent of Saturday Night Live. SMOSH Live was not only filmed in front of a live studio audience, but was also broadcast in real time to millions of SMOSH fans — creating a level of social engagement unseen in digital today. The event featured original sketches, commercial parodies, and a pre- and post- show that allowed fans to engage with each other and experience the event together while the show aired. Thousands of fans tweeted and commented throughout the show — highlighting that this is the sketch comedy show for their generation.
Prank It FWD
SPREADING POSITIVITY WITH PRANKS FOR GOOD: For years, SMOSH, Clevver, AWE me, and ScreenJunkies have been playing positive pranks on deserving “targets” who were nominated by their loved ones. Each of the targets has faced a challenge in his or her life — illness, unemployment, financial woes — so the PIF team works to provide some relief. From throwing a dream wedding for a couple whose cancer battle left them unable to afford one, or paying operating costs for an animal shelter, PIF helps spread the message of positivity and selflessness. The series has also raised significant funds for a number of charities.
SCREENJUNKIES TAKES OVER COMIC CON 2017: In 2016, for the first time ever, ScreenJunkies took their biggest shows out of the studio and to ScreenJunkies Central, a custom, fully-produced, live-filming location just blocks from the San Diego convention center. SJC was the ultimate entertainment experience, not just for SJ fans, but for movie and TV fans alike.
SMOSH Summer/Winter Games
GAME ON… AGAIN! SMOSH Winter/Summer Games are back — taking over both SMOSH Pit and SMOSH Games for a full month of head-to-head competition. In these much anticipated bi-annual events, all twelve of the SMOSH cast members get together to film more than 25 episodes, and fans get to root for their favorite SMOSH team. 2017’s SMOSH Winter Games drove more than 13MM views, with more than 500K fans liking the episodes and/or voting for their favorite team via social. So far, they’ve played slip n’ slide kickball, balanced on a snowboard over mousetraps, and raced in T-Rex costumes — we just have to wait and see what comes next.