Smosh is gone. Defy Media is shutting down and will lay off employees. This is Pew News, where we talk about the news a couple weeks ago!
If you don’t know, Defy Media is the company that owns Smosh (the YouTube channel). I didn’t know about Defy Media until I heard about the honest trailers sexual abuse allegations that came out against Andy Signore, that they were owned by Defy Media as well. Ironically Andy was one of the people that called me out on Twitter for being rotten. In addition, Andy is suing Defy Media over his sexual harassment firing, saying that in the company they encouraged a culture of casual sex with fans, stating that high-level management staff and shareholders were engaged in sexual and otherwise personal relationships with fans, interns and employees.
I wonder how that lawsuit is going to end up. Defy Media now is shutting off without warning or sign. All the people that work on Smosh had no warning, it was just bye-bye (this a company really caring about their employees). Anthony Padilla, who is one of the founders of Smosh, left Defy Media and Smosh a year ago and he told me a couple things about it as well.
Now, he came out finally and said what was wrong with Defy Media.
To start at the beginning, Ian and I sold Smosh in 2011 to what eventually became Defy Media. We sold it for stock in the company, which was great, so I sold it for $0. Selling for stock means that it’s completely valueless unless that company goes public, which it never did. I sold Smosh for $0…
Anthony went on talking about some more details about what the company did that was really wrong and scummy.
They convinced us to start an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to start an iOS game that hadn’t even been conceived. They just saw that some other YouTuber started a Kickstarter to raise money and they’re like “ooh you can do that to get some money from people”. There was no idea for that game. They were: put your face and reputation on the line, beg people for money for a game that has no concept whatsoever and we’ll just figure it out later.
I can’t even imagine all that stress.
They owe a ton of money to a whole bunch of people, you can google it for yourself.
This makes me remind of how glad I am to have gone solo as a YouTuber. You get flown to LA and someone says we can do this for you, we can really help you grow and you’re like oh, that seems like a great idea and then eventually you end up doing something that you didn’t want at all. Luckily, I got out of it through my controversies and I’m so much better off now. I enjoy everything so much more and I can really see that frustration you see more and more often now: YouTubers becoming independent. My biggest advice to anyone who thinks about selling their brand: you’re better off independent. Money is not everything.