Monthly Archives

January 2015

Cable May Not Be King

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

In terms of how Americans watch TV, online streaming seems to be gaining ground over cable and broadcast. According to the Harris Poll of 2,300 adults in the U.S., 77 percent say they regularly watch television shows via either cable (55 percent) or satellite TV (23 percent). Over four in ten say they regularly watch via streaming (43 percent) including two-thirds of Millennials (67 percent).


At 85 percent, the percentage of Americans saying they most often watch traditional TV (live feed, recorded or on demand) is down from 89 percent in 2012; online streaming is up from 20 percent in 2012 to 23 percent today. This preferential shift is strongest when looking at Millennials, among whom non-streaming TV preference has declined from 77 percent to 68 percent while streaming preference has grown from 41 percent to 47 percent. This does not mean these viewers are completely engaged; 85 percent admit surfing the internet, shopping online and using social networks while they watch shows.


Among those who regularly watch via streaming, 74 percent use a computer to do so and 55% use a television (whether via a set-top box, game system or television with integrated online capabilities). Thirty-seven percent watch on tablets and 30 percent watch on smartphones.

Targeted Ads Annoy Youth

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

STRATA, the leader in media buying and selling software, found in a survey of viewers of online videos and TV that younger audiences feel targeted ads are more intrusive compared to their older counterparts. Of those who found targeted ads more invasive, 64 percent were between the ages of 18-44 as compared to 36 percent of those who were 45 and up.


Younger viewers also found online video ads to be more annoying than TV ads; 43 percent of 18-29 year olds agreed with this sentiment compared to 24 percent of those over 60 years old. Skipping of video ads occurred for a variety of reasons: 16 percent said they skip because the same ad ran repeatedly, 15 percent said poor targeting was the primary reason, and only 10 percent said ads are always or usually targeted correctly. Seventy-seven percent said online video ads play correctly all or most of the time. Only 5 percent said video ads never or rarely function.


The majority said they would not pay a premium to avoid online video ads; only 18 percent would pay a premium with younger viewers slightly more inclined to pay. Among those willing to pay a premium, 54 percent were 18-44 and 45 percent were 45+.

Move Over Millennials

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

Marketers are beginning to target young people born after 1990: Generation Z. While studies differ on the exact age range, they comprise about a quarter of America’s population. A study by Sparks and Honey find several key facts distinguish Gen-Z from Millennials. Gen-Z is very individualized,” says Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. “While Millennials seek mentors, Generation Z is more about helping themselves.” Entrepreneurship is in their DNA and Gen-Z dreams of self-employment; 72 percent of high school students want to start a business someday and 61 percent would rather be an entrepreneur than an employee upon graduating college. This desire for self-employment may stem from Gen-Z growning up during a recession in which the socio-economic culture was uncertain and volatile.


In terms of consumption, Gen Z spends more money on food and drinks than anything else, yet they lack brand loyalty. The products themselves are more important than the brands that produce them, and these consumers will change brands easily in search of higher quality.


To effectively connect and communicate with this generation, the most important approaches are: depict and acknowledge Gen-Z as diverse; incorporate images such as emojis, symbols, pictures and videos; and communicate in short bursts of “snackable content.”

Decisive Dads

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

As dads take on a more active role in shopping for the family, BrandSpark research reveals that fathers tend to spend their money rather freely, often don’t know exactly what they are looking for, and are particularly keen on innovative new products from brands that they trust.


Dads’ increased likelihood to spend money freely can be understood through examining their approach to shopping. Dads typically don’t write their own shopping lists; only 29 percent of them say they make the shopping list and less than half have specific brands identified on it. Dads also shop more often with a vague idea of what they’re looking for and are thus more likely to buy on impulse in most categories .


The study indicates men are more likely than women to say things like “I want to be the first person to try new products” and be interested in brands that advertise “new and improved.” In the food category, dads are far more likely than moms to say they used a “brand I recall from childhood.”

Income and Men’s Media Consumption

By | Acumen Insights, Blog | No Comments

While men in general tend to be bigger Internet consumers, those with a household income of more than $500,000 a year are still seeing ads in magazines, newspapers and on television.


The Shullman Research Center (as reported by Adweek) finds 65 percent of affluent men see television ads versus 55 percent of men in general. For newspapers, 58 percent of affluent men are likely to see an ad compared to 36 percent of men in general. On social media the average man experience the higher ad exposure (54 percent vs. 43 percent for affluent men), but other types of online sites have greater success among affluent men (47 percent vs. 33 percent of men in general).


By | Press Releases

Steven Ilous and Daniel Perea Score Feature Film Development Deal with

 New Regency

LOS ANGELES – January 21, 2015 DEFY Media, a leading independent creator and distributor of digital content focused on the influential 13-34 demographic, along with New Regency, the company behind “12 Years a Slave, “Birdman,” and “Gone Girl” today announced the winners of their short film competition “Prototype.” Director Steven Ilous and screenwriter Daniel Perea, filmmakers of the Prototype-winning sci-fi thriller POLIS, have been awarded a feature film development deal with New Regency.

“Prototype” was established to utilize DEFY Media’s vast digital platforms in an effort to discover up-and-coming directorial talent and connect them directly with Hollywood.  Eight promising filmmakers were awarded $20,000 each to direct their own action, sci-fi or effects-driven short film. DEFY promoted the competition to their passionate communities across digital brands including Screen Junkies, The Escapist and Break.  POLIS was selected as the winner and the filmmakers will now have the opportunity to develop their short into a full length feature which New Regency will produce.

“We were overwhelmed by the degree of talent that we found through the ‘Prototype’ competition and it was a challenge to select just one winner,” said Pam Abdy, New Regency’s president of production. “As a company that puts a premium on the strength of our filmmaker partnerships, we are excited to have found the emerging talent of Steven and Daniel through this process and can’t wait to see what they create next.”

Set in the distant future, POLIS tells the story of a young telepath named David Porter whose search for his mother threatens to uncover a utopian society’s horrifying secrets. The short is directed by Steven Ilous whose previous work in digital effects include the “Matrix” sequels and Robert Zemeckis’ “The Polar Express.” The original story was created by Daniel Perea, who was an undergraduate at Emerson College when he was discovered through this contest. Perea and Ilous then developed the project together.  The film will be produced by Greg Siegel who executive produced the short films on behalf of DEFY.

“DEFY currently has over 30 weekly shows produced in-house with dozens more in various stages of development,” said Keith Richman, President of DEFY Media. “The success of Prototype is another proof point of DEFY’s ability to offer the traditional media companies unique intellectual property and talent that can be meaningful to their core business.”

New Regency is currently in production on Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s film “The Revenant” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, scheduled for release December 25, 2015 through 20th Century Fox. The company is currently in theaters with Iñárritu’s Academy Award®-nominated “Birdman” (Fox Searchlight) and David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” (Fox).

DEFY Media is the leading creator and distributor of digital content focused on the 13-34 demographic and is continuing to expand into feature length content with the recent addition of free movie streaming on Break. DEFY is also currently in production on Higher Power, a full length action and effects driven feature co-produced by DEFY Media and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, GI Joe) and will be directed by Hollywood filmmaker and VFX specialist Matt Santoro (300, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) from a script by Julia Fair.


Free Movies on Break!

By | Blog

That’s right – now you can watch full length (free!) movies on Break across Web, iOS, Android and Roku platforms with Xbox coming soon! We have a curated selection of  200 films from the Lionsgate library including Winter’s BoneSwimming with SharksThe Descent, Devil’s DoubleMargin Call and many more.

You can download the mobile app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) here and Android here. To locate the “Movies” section on the iOS app, touch the navigation bar on the top left-hand corner of the home screen and select “Movies”. Users can connect on Roku and Xbox by downloading the free “Break” app on their device and selecting “Movies”. Or, visit us on the Web at

We’ll continue to add new movies every week so be sure to check back often!

Break launches “Movies on Break,” free streaming service of curated feature films

By | Press Releases

Ad-supported online movie platform launching with 200 Lionsgate feature films across Web, mobile and connected devices

LOS ANGELES – January 14, 2015 – DEFY Media owned Break, the number one video humor site with over 20 million unique monthly viewers, has expanded its content offerings to include free movie streaming across Web, iOS, Android and Roku platforms with XBOX coming shortly, the company announced today.  Break, which has been rapidly growing its platform audiences since the first iPhone launched in 2007, is rolling out Movies on Break,” a curated selection of 200 films from the Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) library that will be updated weekly, including Winter’s Bone, Swimming with Sharks, The Descent, Devil’s Double, Margin Call and many more.

“Increasingly, our millennial audience is tuning out of traditional media channels and into OTT options,” said Keith Richman, President, DEFY Media. “As we’ve continued to launch mobile and OTT devices, our engagement numbers have taken off with viewing sessions on Xbox and Roku eclipsing 30 minutes.  With our ability to promote the movie offering to our 49 million YouTube subscribers, 70 million website visitors and the 22 million people who have downloaded our apps, we believe we are further positioning Break to be one of the dominant a la carte offerings of the future. ”

Long known as the destination for the best in web video, this expansion marks Break’s move into streaming full length, premium ad-supported content. “Movies on Break” launches today with 80 films in eight categories, including “Pulse-Pounding Action,” “Screen Junkies Approved,” “Overlooked Gems,” and “Before They Were Famous”.  A new category will debut each week and will include 8-10 new films, hand selected by the Break editorial team, led by new Editor-in-Chief Jack Moore.

“Break has built an enormous, engaged viewing audience by creating and curating world-class video content,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.  “We’re pleased to supply them with a broad range of titles to enable them to continue expanding their offering into longer-form, professionally produced content.  Our long-term partnership with Break is one of the many strategies we’ve created to deliver content to our next generation online audiences.”  Lionsgate has been a minority equity investor in and content partner of Break, part of DEFY Media, since it was launched in 2007.


Users can download the mobile app for iOS (iPhone and iPad) here and Android here.  To locate the “Movies” section on the iOS app, touch the navigation bar on the top left-hand corner of the home screen and select “Movies”.  Users can connect on Roku and Xbox by downloading the free “Break” app on their device and selecting “Movies”.

Connect with Break on social platforms:

Twitter: @Breakcom


Instagram: @Breakcom


ICYMI: Fine Bros’ “React To That” Debuts Featuring Break’s Viral Hits!

By | Blog

Guest post: Elba Flamenco, YouTube Operations Manager

On December 15, 2014, Nickelodeon debuted React To That, a brand new half-hour series from YouTube superstars The Fine Bros, and based on the ultra-popular Kids React web series. The Fine Bros, in conjunction with Nick Cannon and his production shop NCredible Entertainment, adapted the series for television, but kept the essential formula the same. Each episode features viral video clips, which kids react to and comment on.

That’s where DEFY Media’s Break came in. Long known as the destination for the best in web video, the Break team worked with the producers and rights & clearance teams at NCredible to supply them with the cutest, funniest, and most shocking videos to feature on the show. We were very excited to assist in the development of a show that is a great example of how YouTube brands adapt amazingly to traditional media formats like television.

Our licensing and acquisitions team here at DEFY work around the clock to make sure Break has the best of the web in our “vault” for our audience of millennials as well as partners who may want to feature our content.

You can watch a full episode feature our “Dog Pees Weird” video here: