Defy bolsters youthful slate

The millennial-focused MCN unveiled 30 new series at the NewFronts, including a pet-focused cosplay show and a new game show by Smosh.
May 5, 2016

Defy Media, the millennial-focused MCN and digital media co (and home to the smash YouTube duo Smosh), isn’t trying to make programming reminiscent of traditional television.

But it’s not not trying, either, Keith Richman, Defy president, told the audience gathered at the company’s NewFronts presentation in New York earlier this week. “We like to compare ourselves to television, (or) a weird marriage between television and digital, in that we’ve inherited the DNA from both sides,” he said.

Key to that strategy is the company’s focus on developing content that resonates with its core demographic – young millennial men and women. But, unlike other digital networks with thousands of creators, Defy focuses on just a handful of brands and their related channels (including Smosh, Break, Screen Junkies, Awe Me and the female-focused Clevver), and, similar to linear, has been diligent about developing fresh content on YouTube and other platforms that rolls out to viewers on a regularly scheduled basis.

It’s a formula that’s won the network over 800 million monthly views (Smosh, featuring comedians Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox, pictured, alone has 22 million subs on YouTube and a total of 5.5 billion views).

And it’s not about to change what’s already working. This week, the company unveiled 30 new programs for its existing channels, among them two new series, Smosh Summer Games 2: Camp, the second-annual competition pitting Smosh personalities against each other at, you guessed it, camp; and These 5 People, a new sketch series that chronicles the natural reactions to life’s biggest events.

Clevver is also kicking off two new series, including Beauty Trippin’, featuring hosts Joslyn Davis and Lily Maston checking out trendy and odd beauty treatments; and Diss Track, a parody series that ill help “reconcile” feuding celebs.

While, Awe Me (4.3 million subscribers, 336 million views), unveiled two new series, including Man At Arms: Reforged with Danny Trejo, a tweak on the original format, in which blacksmiths create video game weaponry, this time with a new host Danny Trejo; and Pawsplay, a new series that creates costumes for pets based on pop culture franchises.

Defy CEO Matt Diamond said the company is coming off a record year of sales, driven largely by a surge of integrated ad campaigns.

With files from Darah Hansen, StreamDaily.

Darah is in New York attending the NewFronts. If you would like to arrange a meeting with her, email

About The Author


Brand Menu