Rumor Mill: Defy Media Latest MCN on the Block – Asking Price Approaches $500M

/ Feb 3, 2016

Defy Media

One of the earliest-formed MCN’s Defy Media is rumored to be on the block. And true to MCN form, Defy is chasing a pretty big sale price that is said to stretch towards $500 million, according to various sources. Executives close to senior management at Defy have told VideoInk that most of the major traditional media companies have come to the table, but Viacom is the likely buyer — not surprising given Viacom joined ABS Capital Partners, ZelnickMedia, and Lionsgate as a minority stakeholder in 2014. A Defy spokesperson declined to comment or confirm.

Defy Media, which is the post-merger moniker of Alloy Digital and Break Media, has built a multi-platform media business that includes owned and operated sites for teens, young adults – both female and male, video properties and apps. Some of these brands include gURL, The Escapist, Clevver TV, and Shut Up! Cartoons. Cumulatively, Defy’s brands reach over 750 million monthly unique views from over 80 millon monthly visitors.

SMOSH#s_TubularLabs_VideoInk

*Data from Tubular Labs

Perhaps the most well known brand in Defy’s portfolio is SMOSH, a YouTube brand it acquired from DECA (now known as Kin Community) and one that currently reaches over 21 million subscribers on YouTube where it draws over 140 million views monthly, on average.

According to SocialBlade, those kinds of numbers could generate up to $4.3 million annually, from ad revenue on YouTube alone and not factoring custom branded or commissioned content, merch, or other revenue streams for the brand. Under Defy’s leadership, SMOSH expanded the brand to include SMOSH Games, which in its own right has over 6 million subscribers.

Defy’s timing in the market might be tricky as it chases down a $500 million sale. The hype on multichannel networks has significantly cooled as even those associated with “MCN’s”  dissociate with the term in favor of a new acronym “MPN” (multi-platform network). And Defy may be too far behind the heat wave that surged in 2014 and 2015 around multichannel networks and the gargantuan valuations sparked by Maker Studios sale to Disney in 2014 for $500 million, followed by Fullscreen’s attempt at a sale for around the same pricetag.

But, sources familiar with Defy’s annual revenue, recent business growth and projected revenues, claim that while a $500 million valuation could strike a bit high for the company, it’s not far off based on a valuation of 2-3x Defy’s annual revenue. And since Viacom’s investment in 2014, Defy’s O&O reach has grown by 53% and the company has seen roughly 42% increase in downloads of its video-related mobile apps.

With Defy potentially off the map, and Omnia’s recent sale to Blue Ant, the only major “MCN’s” left in the neighborhood are DanceOn, Machinima, MiTu, WhistleSports, The Young Turks and Kin Community.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Matt “Hoss” Hosseinzadeh

The Weird Parkour ‘n’ Pick-Up World of the MattHoss,...

 
Algorhythm New Form Digital Above Average Craig Benzine WheezyWaiter

Here’s What Taking an “Above Average” Approach...

 

Weekly Streaming Video Release Schedule – Updated 5.27.16

 
Crave Logo

Social App Platform Crave Partners with Nordic MCN Splay Networks

 
Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!
 
Rohan_Castelino_VideoInk_300x250

Billboard Music Awards: How Publishers Drive Digital Video...

 
Shout Factory

Shout! Factory in the Family Way with ‘Boxcar...

 
Vitaly Zdorovetskiy From Tresspassing to Terrorism YouTube Pranks Backfiring with Busts

From Tresspassing to Terrorism: YouTube Pranks Backfiring with Busts

 
Hulu Logo

Hulu and ITV Go Straight to Series with ‘Harlots’

 
AmazonBox

Amazon’s New Pilot Season Gets Bookish with F. Scott...

 
SubscriptionStreaming_300x250_VideoInk

Is “Wallet Share” for Subscription Streaming...

 
Victorious launches mobile apps with The Young Turks, Ryan Higa

Victorious Raises $25 Million But How ‘Victorious’...

 
Bad Internet CollegeHumor YouTube Red

CollegeHumor Finds Laughs in Dystopia with YouTube Red’s...

 
Bryce Clemmer Digital Video Measurement

Digital Video Measurement is Imperfect. So What?

 
Go90

Inside go90’s Content Strategy Part 2 — Sports and...

 
MakerLogo2015

Shows on go90 – Teen Drama, Comedy, Gaming

 
StyleHaul Logo

Shows on go90 – Talk Show, Fashion/Beauty, Reality Series

 
GO90

Inside go90’s Video Strategy — A Product Evolution...

 
Lloyd Ahlquist EpicLLOYD Epic Studios

EpicLLOYD’s Kinda Epic Journey from Pitch to Production...

 
goproaerial

GoPro and Red Bull Tighten Bond with Global Deal – Does...

 
BrandedTVLogo_VideoInk_300x250

In-House Content Studios: Same Name, Different Capabilities

 
Snapchat Article Header

Snapchat Is Getting 10 Billion Video Views A Day. Now What?

 
PrankvsPrank-Jesse-Whalen-Jeana-Smith-Split

PrankVsPrank’s Jesse Wellens, Jeana Smith Hit Pause On...

 
Get The Look  Metallic Chic Eye Makeup by Maybelline branded content

Do This Yourself: Why Branded DIY Videos Are Still a Big Opportunity

 
Adam Wescott Select Management Group Select Next

Building Better Opportunities for Digital Influencers with...

 
Screening Room

Weekly Streaming Video Release Schedule

 
oculus faux leak

Let’s get Real about VR — the Content & Distribution...

 
Supergravity-Evan-Weiss-Red-Sun-Entertainment

Supergravity Pictures, Evan Weiss Form Talent Management Brand...

 
All-Def-Digital-NBC-SeeSo-Content-Deal

All Def Digital Teams With SeeSo For Original Content Deal

 
VidCon-2016-Beauty-Lifestyle-Content-Salon

Kandee Johnson, MyLifeAsEva To Talk Fashion, Beauty In...

 
NewFronts Image 2015

Newfronts 2016 Programming Cheat Sheet

 
PetCollective

A Year Later… How The Pet Collective Has Blown Up With...

 
indmusic

Live Nation Acquires INDMUSIC

 
Google Daydream VR

Google Bringing VR Platform Daydream to New Android Operating System

 
Cinedigm Logo

Cinedigm Buying StoryBox.tv Content for Dove Channel OTT Service

 
Instant Time INc.

Will Time Inc.’s Branded ‘New Famous’ Platform...

 
NBA Playmakers

Are the NBA and BroadbandTV Pulling a Tom Sawyer with New...

 
cutting the cord

Tearing Down the Wall – Why Television May Just Kill the...

 
PepsiCo Creative Lounge Studio

PepsiCo Pops Open Creators League Studio Facility with AOL and...

 
TMBI_VideoInk_300x250

Trusted Media Brands Delivers Strong First Newfront

 
digital-content-newfronts

Strengths and Weaknesses at the NewFronts