Monthly Archives

June 2015

Break signs licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures to expand feature film offerings on its “Break Movies” free streaming service

By | Press Releases

Break signs licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures to expand feature film offerings on its “Break Movies” free streaming service

Iconic and fan-favorite films from Paramount’s library will start streaming June 30th, including
Top Gun, Total Recall and Paranormal Activity


LOS ANGELES – June 30, 2015 – DEFY Media-owned Break, the number one video humor site with over 20 million unique monthly viewers, today announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures to bring select feature films from Paramount’s extensive library to Break’s free streaming service, “Break Movies.” The ad-supported service, which launched in January 2015, is currently available across Web, iOS, Android, XBOX and Roku platforms.


Break viewers will be able to access 30 popular films, with new films from the Paramount library releasing each month. Each film will be available on the service for 30 days or more, with the film selection including action favorites such as Top Gun, Total Recall, The Running Man, and Bloodsport, along with more recent theatrical releases such as the Paranormal Activity series, The Devil Inside, and Jeff, Who Lives at Home, among others.


“The immediate enthusiastic response from our audience to longer form offerings with ‘Break Movies’ further reinforces millennials’ increasing appetite for a la carte entertainment on mobile and OTT devices,” said Keith Richman, President, DEFY Media. “The addition of selected titles from Paramount Pictures’ impressive library of films is another important step for DEFY Media in building a robust content portfolio that delivers the diverse programming our consumers want on the platforms that matter most to them, and that also serves the growing demands of our brand partners to align with longer form content appealing to the tastes of this audience.”

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Break to enhance its impressive lineup of films,” said Dina Vangelisti, SVP, Paramount Domestic TV Licensing & Distribution. “‘Break Movies’ offers fans an opportunity to watch terrific films when and where they want to and we look forward to audiences enjoying some of the many classic and contemporary favorites from Paramount’s library.”


The deal marks a significant expansion of Break’s streaming movie platform, which first launched with partner Lionsgate to offer over 200 films from the Lionsgate library, including top films such as Winter’s Bone, Swimming with Sharks, The Descent, Devil’s Double, Margin Call, and many more. Break recently also added a library of martial arts films from Crash Media. Break Movies selections are regularly curated into categories by the Break editorial team.


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 “Break” app on their device and selecting “Movies”.


Connect with Break on social platforms:

Twitter: @Breakcom


Instagram: @Breakcom

About DEFY Media:

DEFY Media is the top digital producer and programmer for 13-34 year olds, and the largest owner of YouTube channels and leading media brands across the comedy, lifestyle and gaming verticals. Each month, DEFY-produced content generates 500 million video views and reaches 125 million viewers across our 50 million YouTube subscribers, 80 million unique web visitors and consumers of our apps, which have been downloaded over 22 million times. DEFY Media brands include Smosh, recently named by Variety as the top brand for 13-17 year olds, Break, known for its top program “Prank It Forward”, and Screen Junkies, home to the highly influential digital series “Honest Trailers”. The world’s top brands partner with DEFY to build immersive advertising solutions that deliver unparalleled access to this influential audience. With uniquely integrated capabilities in content development, studio production, distribution and promotion, DEFY Media is built for content delivery in the digital age. Please visit us at


About Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution


Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution (PWTLD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in more than 165 countries and territories. The PWTLD division oversees worldwide sales and licensing of all content handled by Paramount across Broadcast, Cable and Subscription Video-On-Demand (SVOD) platforms. PWTLD manages content from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, along with certain DreamWorks Animation titles.


Bundles of Joy (Oh, The Times They Are a Changing) ….

By | Blog

DEFY President Keith Richman recently shared his thoughts with Re/Code “Voices”  off the latest cable ‘unbundling’ news –  more signs of this growing media trend and that the times are definitely a changing. What does this mean for today’s consumer, the future of media and for companies like us with popular channels on YouTube, like Smosh, that draw millions of subscribers and viewers watching hundreds of millions of videos per month? It’s the new world –  read on….

JUNE 24, 2015

Yesterday, Hulu announced that it would be offering a bundle of Hulu/Showtime to its customers. Many have poked fun at the fact that digital entities, who have often rallied against the economics of traditional media, are happy to see the bundle making a comeback. The consumer should be happy, as well.

Traditional media has long argued that the bundle is the most cost-effective means for a customer to get the content they want. While in theory that might possibly be true, it is blatantly false given the current construct of the cable and satellite bundle. The cable bundle today delivers you lots of stuff you don’t want, which is often subsidized by your willingness to pay for the stuff you might actually like. Most people watch very few channels, yet pay for more than 500 of them.

The awesome thing about the Internet is that it tends to rectify these value imbalances. It is increasingly hard to add no value to people in the world, yet still get paid. We don’t buy the album anymore, we buy the song. We don’t read the paper, we read the sections or columnists we truly value. We can use a car service for a single ride, not a four-hour minimum. We have transparent pricing on most everything we buy to ensure we are getting the best deal.

The cable bundle has long protected the weak in the sense that it obfuscates our ability to pay for certain programming. There are many channels that are paid for by 80 million homes that provide no value to all but a few hundred thousand of them. There are other channels that provide increasing value, but get paid far less than the core fan bases might be willing to pay for it. This dichotomy is doomed for failure in an always-on, always-online, transparent world.

There is absolutely room for bundles in media, as long as they represent transparent value (price or convenience) for the consumer.

Yet we should all be happy with the Hulu bundle. Bundles by themselves are not inherently bad. Most of the time they are a convenient way to purchase everything from fast food to a vacation. A lot of the time they actually save you some money in doing so. There is absolutely room for bundles in media, as long as they represent transparent value (price or convenience) for the consumer. That is what the Showtime/Hulu bundle represents. It is easy to imagine other services — whether they emanate from traditional media companies or companies like Defy — being added to the bundle, as well.

In a lot of ways, the new skinny bundles provided by players such as Sony and Dish represent another step forward. Although they are not quite transparent, they clearly represent a pruning of the weak and an ability to hit the reset button on what audiences truly value. They also provide an opportunity for relevant digital brands to be represented, thereby changing the value equation for an entirely new generation of audiences.

There are channels on YouTube, like Smosh and The Fine Brothers, with millions of subscribers and viewers watching hundreds of millions of videos per month. Those channels have demonstrated a stronger ability to drive broad consumer value than a large number of existing bundled channels.

Lastly, these new bundles have the ability to provide more dynamic bundled pricing on the content that you actually watch. Agreements with some providers may prohibit this in the short run, but it seems likely that truly customized offerings will ultimately become a reality.

Oddly, when all is said and done, we might actually end up paying more than we do today for our customized offering. However, we will also likely get more from the providers we enjoy, and feel better about it. For example, HBO Now might go up in price … but you can download their originals on your devices, as long as you subscribe.

The amazing thing about the world we are headed into is that it provides the opportunity for value to be properly attributed and rewarded. The rise of programmatic and the “Influencer” as a sponsorship vehicle has already shown how quickly this can translate into media advertising dollars. The bundle might move slower, but the times, they are a changing.

Keith Richman is president of Defy Media, a leading media company for the “cord-never” generation. Reach him @keithrichman.

TV is Too Much Work

By | Acumen Insights | No Comments

Despite the proliferation of devices consumers have available to watch television, TV sets remain ubiquitous in U.S. homes. PR News Wire reports Hill Holliday Marketing found nearly one-third of households have two functional TV sets and more than one-quarter have three TV sets. Approximately one in ten people have connected a new-generation device to their TV sets in the past year (i.e. AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, tablet, smartphone or digital camera). That’s in addition to the gaming consoles, Blu-ray players, and computers that pump content onto 25 percent of households’ TV screens.

Fewer than half (41 percent) preferred watching their favorite TV shows live. Among those who didn’t watch live, preferences split among time-shifting (43 percent), binge watching (19 percent), and watching on demand (19 percent).

But for many, TV is becoming too much work. Ninety percent had the experience of taking a long time to decide what to watch, and only one-quarter reported feeling happy or excited while choosing a show; 38 percent reported feeling there’s nothing interesting to watch.

Failure to Communicate

By | Acumen Insights | No Comments

Financial services providers are failing to connect with Millennials according to research from BNY Mellon. The techniques financial institutions use to engage with Boomers do not always work with Millennials. And while it’s important to have a social media presence, less than 1 percent of Millennials want financial institutions to use this as a primary communication channel; the most popular form for communication from banks was email or website (40 percent).

More than half (59 percent) of Millennials say they haven’t seen products targeted at people like them. Millennials also turn to parents first for financial advice (52 percent) and turn second to their banks (24 percent).

Communication is crucial as the research found 49 percent of Millennials do not know how pensions work; the number increases to 61% among those under the age of 23. Millennials also do not prioritize retirement saving, putting them at a disadvantage as they age. Seventy-three percent say would save more if they were rewarded in some way, and 51 percent would be more inclined to save for the future if their money was not completely locked away.

Cultivating an Image

By | Acumen Insights | No Comments

According to The Society For New Communications Research the reputation of a company is no longer defined by what it espouses. Instead companies increasingly are defined by the opinions and experiences shared online by consumers.

Seventy-six percent of buyers consider what their friends, family or other trusted information sources say when forming an opinion about a company. In the absence of these personal opinions, 71 percent of buyers read social media sites to gather information. Seventy percent report sharing a negative experience online and 68 percent report sharing a positive experience online.

Women are two times more likely than men to turn to social channels to inform decisions about purchases (31 percent vs. 15 percent). Women also are more likely to make a purchase when they learn about an organization’s positive social actions (25 percent vs. 12 percent of men). And women, regardless of age, are more likely to engage online as advocates or activists on behalf of or against a brand.

Never Said ‘I Do’

By | Acumen Insights | No Comments

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of 2012 census data, 20 percent of people 25 and older have never been married. In 1960, only 9 percent in that age range had never been married. Men are more likely than women to have never married (23 percent vs. 17 percent) and the gap widened since 1960, when 10 percent of men and 8 percent of women had never married. The change is related to a variety of factors with adults marrying later in life, cohabiting, and raising children outside of marriage the leading drivers.

The trend cuts across all racial and ethnic groups with 36 percent of blacks never married (up from 9 percent in 1960), 16 percent of whites (up from 8 percent) and 26 percent of Hispanics (up from 13 percent).

Opinions on this issue differ sharply by age, with 67 percent of those ages 18 to 29 saying society is just as well off when people don’t make marriage a priority and 53 percent of 30-49 year olds agreeing. But among those ages 50 and older, 55 percent say society is better off if people make it a priority to get married and have children.

Millennials Map the Office

By | Acumen Insights | No Comments

Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates surveyed more than 2,000 American adults to better understand where and how Millennials, Gen X and Boomers prefer to work. Working from home has the greatest appeal overall but more so for Gen X and Boomers (77 percent and 71 percent, respectively) than Millennials (67 percent).

Most prefer working in a private office over any other floor plan, but not so for Millennials; 55 percent of Millennials prefer an open floor plan versus cubicles or private offices. Only 41 percent of Gen X and 41 percent of Boomers expressed this preference. Additionally, 59 percent of Millennials say they would be comfortable sharing their workspace with someone else compared to 49 percent of Boomers and 45 percent of Gen X.

Among all generations, access to public transportation is most important to Millennials when considering where to work, with 50 percent saying they prefer to walk or bike to work.

Mobile Apps No Longer Optional

By | Acumen Insights | No Comments

According to a Zogby Analytics survey almost 90 percent of Millennials say their smartphones never leave their sides. The first thing 80 percent of them do every morning is reach for their smartphones; 78 percent spend more than two hours a day texting, surfing, talking, tweeting, shopping, banking and more on their phones.

Four out of five Millennials say it’s important for retailers to have high-quality mobile apps, particularly with 47 percent of them accessing businesses via mobile at least once a day. And 36 percent have made a decision on where to spend money (or even switched companies) based on what the business allowed them to accomplish on mobile.

Banks have been slowest to respond to this increased demand and may suffer. More than half of Millennials say they would deposit checks by snapping a picture and sending it via a bank’s app (54%). An additional 34% already have deposited a check by taking a picture with their smartphone camera.