MTV certainly contributed a lot to 1980’s entertainment. For DEFY Media, one of the most valuable learnings was the “fast fail model.”
So while DEFY’s programming resembles traditional programming in areas like writers and talent, where it “varies a bit” is in MTV’s concept that no idea is bad, CEO Matt Diamond says in this interview with Beet.TV during the Digital Content NewFronts.
“The bar to succeed is very high but the bar to test things is very low. You can test things pretty easily and cost effectively with digital,” Diamond says.
And when you have amassed the audience sizes of a DEFY—700 million monthly views for owned and operated video, 70 million YouTube subscribers and 100 million social media followers—the feedback is fast and telling.
“We’re able to test a lot. Some don’t work. And when they don’t work, we can move on. An advertiser gets the benefit of coming along with us because we will always get big audiences,” says Diamond.
DEFY is platform and screen agnostic when it comes to promoting its content. “We are neutral and we want to make sure that the distribution partner is able to build big audiences.”
From the start, DEFY shunned the multichannel network model, as it has never represented third-party content providers. Simply repping other talent that posts on YouTube “we just didn’t feel was the value add that we were providing for both our advertisers as well as our consumers,” says Diamond.
“Frankly, those people can just post things to YouTube and YouTube can sell the ads.” With content like SMOSH that DEFY owns and produces, “we can time the social message that goes out and we can have the talent itself work specifically with our brands as well as our partners’ brands.”
This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.