Gen Z-favored Defy Media has partnered with reality TV prodco 3 Ball Entertainment to develop and produce original programming to be distributed across Defy’s YouTube channels.
The collaboration kicks off with production of How It’s Destroyed, an original concept developed by 3 Ball (Bar Rescue, Extreme Weight Loss), which will air later this year on Defy’s AWEme (short for amaze, wow and educate) channel.
AWEme has a subscriber base of close to five million and is home to popular short-form, nonfiction series such as Man At Arms and Super Fan Builds (pictured). In all, Defy branded channels reach more than 65 million YouTube subscribers, and an estimated 100 million across social platforms.
The deal furthers 3 Ball’s interest in digital content development for streaming, OTT and social platforms, with the company also mining potential formats for linear TV, according to a company statement.
“We’re extremely focused on incubating programming for compelling digital channels that resonate with the appetite of younger viewers,” said DJ Nurre, 3 Ball EVP of programming and development. “Working with leading partners like Defy, whose massive expertise in short-form has garnered a loyal and growing fanbase, represents an incredible opportunity for 3 Ball as we broaden our digital footprint.”
At Defy, the deal follows recent restructuring and expansion of the company’s television and OTT development division, which is now overseen by Jared Hoffman and Chris Pollack, reporting to Defy’s chief content officer Barry Blumberg.
Defy currently produces more than 72 original weekly or bi-weekly series across its top-ranking brands, including AWEme, Smosh, Clevver, Screen Junkies, Break and Made Man. As part of that push, company reps said there’s been a noticeable rise in demand for original programming over the past year, coming from both digital-first companies and tradtional cable/telecom operators entering the market with SVOD, OTT and streaming services. Defy content can currently be found on 20 video platforms, according to the company.