Defy Media, also known simply as Defy, was a media production company that owned and operated Smosh and Smosh Productions. Smosh was sold for stock to Alloy Digital in 2011 which then merged with Break Media, created in 2008, to become Defy Media in 2013. Smosh was the largest branch of Defy Media. The company also owned YouTube channels and brands such as Clevver, The Warp Zone and formerly Screen Junkies. The company was closed down on November 6, 2018, with the official reason of discontinuation being that it was due to marketing conditions.
History With Smosh
Defy handled all Smosh mobile applications and games including the now retired, Food Battle: The Game. Defy was one of the main producers for Smosh: The Movie along side Smosh Productions and AwesomenessTV. Defy also produces all of Smosh's Prank It Forward videos. They also produced Smosh's YouTube Red series Part Timers, a scripted comedy series with sponsorship from Schick Hydro.
Effect on Smosh and Smosh Videos
Smosh being owned by a company seemingly put a damper on Smosh's creative freedom. All Smosh content had to be appropriate by the company's standards or it would not be approved. Many fans over time have said that Smosh content has changed a lot - and in the opinion of many, not in a positive way. Being owned by a company was one of the main reasons why Anthony Padilla left Smosh in 2017. When Anthony announced his departure from Smosh on June 14 of that year, he posted a vlog on his personal channel titled Why I Left Smosh the same day. In the vlog he explained that Smosh becoming a brand owned by a company had caused all his creative decisions to "go through a filter" and caused him to lose his happiness in what he was doing. In the video "My thoughts about SMOSH/Defy Media Shutting Down", Anthony explains that Defy Media had forced him and Ian to do things he didn't agree with. This included starting and stopping shows without prior warning, starting the Indiegogo campaign for Food Battle: The Game before the idea for the game had been conceived (as well as setting its goal at an extremely high level), raising over $250,000 for the company which did not offer any profit for him or Ian, and various other things.
Defy Media's shutdown has left Smosh with complete creative freedom, giving them a chance to be an independent channel for the first time since June of 2011. It has also left with Smosh a very depleted crew, going from an average of 18-20 members to only 6. Longtime members including director Ryan Todd have stayed, along with Josh Mattingly, Greg Jones and Ryan Finnerty (amongst others).
Many Smosh cast and crew members, as well as other employees of Defy-owned brands, have made it clear that they believe Defy Media handled its shutdown in a highly unprofessional manner. Reasons for this include the vagueness around how much of the company was ceasing to exist (originally only one of their offices was supposed to close), the attitude of the company towards its laid-off employees, the lack of consideration for the online audience of the YouTube channels they represented, and the reason they gave for terminating the company. Anthony revealed after the shutdown that he and Ian had sold the Smosh brand for stock rather than money, meaning that they would only receive shares in the brand if Defy chose to make it go public - which according to Anthony, they never did. Anthony then talked about how much money Defy had made from the online brands they owned, and stated that he had no idea where most of that money had gone - as he was certain it wasn't going to the employees - and expressed incredulity that Defy Media was using "marketing conditions" as an excuse for closing down when he knew how much money was going into the company. Members of Defy's other online brands (mainly Clevver), as well as some members of Smosh, took the opportunity to reveal that the company owed money to many of its employees, also expressing incredulity that "marketing conditions" had brought down the company when so many of them had waited in vain to receive the funds owed to them. In a video on his personal channel, Lasercorn revealed that he was one of the many people who Defy Media owed money to.
Starting in the beginning of 2018, Defy Media has many lawsuits filed against them before and after its shutdown.
- ’’Shandy Media, INC vs Defy Media, LLC’’: Two breach of contracts for roughly $150,000.
- ’’Proper Media, LLC vs Defy Media, LLC’’: Breavh of contract for roughly $150,000.
- Viewall Investments Limited vs Defy Media, LLC: Unpaid video advertisement for roughly $100,000.
- Minden Pictures INC vs Defy Media, LLC: Using photos without obtaining lincenses.