The move isn’t a surprise: Smosh earlier this year was acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning” — which also is part of Studio71’s roster.
Smosh had been left homeless after parent company Defy Media folded last fall. Now, Smosh’s eight YouTube channels have become part of Studio71’s network, including the main Smosh channel, Smosh Pit, Smosh Games, and SmoshCast. All told, Smosh’s channels have a total of about 45 million subscribers and have racked up 15 billion video views to date. Studio71 said Smosh’s flagship series “Every [Blank] Ever” and “VS” will be joined by new sketches and formats.
The Smosh crew, led by co-founder Ian Hecox, joins Studio71’s other creator partners, who include top YouTubers Lilly “Superwoman” Singh, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Flula Borg and Rachel Levin (aka RCLBeauty101).
Mythical Entertainment paid less than $10 million in cash for Smosh, according to a source familiar with the deal. Nearly all of Smosh’s employees — about 30 cast members, writers, producers, editors, and other staffers — returned to the company with the Mythical acquisition.
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Studio71, which is the digital studio and marketing firm that’s part of ProSiebenSat.1’s Red Arrow Studios, announced the Smosh partnership at its Digital Content NewFronts event in New York, where it touted a number of other new initiatives. Among the announcements:
- Podcasts: Studio71 in June plans to launch “OHoney,” a new podcast created and hosted by best friends and veteran influencers Amanda Cerny and Sommer Ray, who together have amassed over 60 million followers across Instagram and YouTube. The duo will take calls from “lovesick listeners” and dish up their best advice for surviving millennial relationships. Studio 71 has also partnered with existing business and culture podcast “Group Chat,” hosted by friends and entrepreneurs Chris “Drama” Pfaff and Dee and Anand Murthy, the investors behind tech VC firm QueensBridge Venture Partners and fashion brands Young & Reckless and FiveFour.
- Brand safety: Studio71 said its brand-safety scanning system, Context, will now monitor for inappropriate comments and links in comments and remove them as necessary. The new feature comes after a scandal erupted on YouTube earlier this year involving child predators leaving coded sexual comments on videos with kids.
- Analytics: The company is teaming with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to make a version of its Arrow Intelligence Platform — which crunches influencer-marketing data — available to clients.
- Influencer-marketing ad partnership: Studio71 is launching a new ad product, Studio71 Xpand, powered by tech platform Spaceback. That will use Spaceback’s ability to automatically repackage social-media experiences as standard paid-media units.
Overall, L.A.-based Studio71 distributes content on more than 50 video platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Snap, Instagram, Twitch, Tik Tok, Roku, Prime Video and Caffeine.