Erin Robinson and Joslyn Davis are some of our 2016 Famechanger honorees. For more, click here.
As hosts and producers at Clevver, Erin Robinson and Joslyn Davis — two self-described “work wives” — sometimes burn the midnight oil at the fast-growing digital media brand, brainstorming, shooting, and editing up to five shows each day.
“So many people who follow us on Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter think our lives are so easy!” says Robinson. “Jos and I wear so many hats — we spend a lot of time doing things like time-coding footage.”
Adds Davis: “Sometimes we do end up sleeping under our desks at work. We’ve taken the occasional catnap at 2 in the morning.”
Because of their internet fame and infectious enthusiasm, Davis, 34, and Robinson, 32, took a hiatus last fall from Clevver to film CBS’s digital-celeb season of “The Amazing Race” (which also featured Tyler Oakley and Korey Kuhl).
“I was so excited when I found out about the casting. I could tell my dad I had a real job,” jokes Robinson.
Clevver, part of Defy Media, now has more than 10 million subscribers on YouTube across its channels, more than doubling in 15 months. It topped 6 billion total views in April. Robinson and Davis work on shows across ClevverTV, Clevver News, and Clevver Style. “The shows on Clevver Style are what get us stopped at Target,” says Davis. “That was a big turning point.” The duo also work on Clevver Now, a weekly entertainment and celeb gossip show for Verizon’s Go90 mobile video service that launched earlier this year.
Davis joined Clevver in 2008 — YouTube’s “dark ages” — after trying to break into TV news. Back then, the company was very much in startup mode, and operated out of co-founder Jorge Maldonado’s garage. “It was very sweaty,” she says.
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Robinson was originally on a pre-med track at the University of North Carolina before following in her dad’s footsteps to pursue a journalism career. She joined Clevver Movies in 2011 as a reporter, and has taken on more and more duties. “Clevver is a place where you can have your hand in every aspect of video production,” she says. “We are seeing such freedom in what we do.”
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Like other YouTubers who call their own shots, Robinson and Davis can take suggestions from their fans to do something new, or come up with a fun idea themselves and just run with it. “With traditional media, there are more rules in place,” Davis notes, although she concedes TV still has bigger production budgets.
Barry Blumberg, Defy’s chief content officer, praises the women’s ability to bridge the gap between news and personality-driven content. “YouTube works well when people see someone who’s really invested in what they’re doing,” he says, “and that comes across with Erin and Joslyn. They’re not just doing something that someone else has written or told them to talk about.”