Type of site
|Pop culture, infotainment|
|Available in||English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Korean, Polish, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Romanian and Maori|
|Created by||Ashkan Karbasfrooshan|
|Alexa rank||16282 / 45330 ## (US/Global November 11, 2018)|
|Launched||23 January 2006|
|Ashkan Karbasfrooshan (CEO)|
WatchMojo is a Canadian-based privately held video producer, publisher, and syndicator. With over 12 billion all-time video views and 21 million subscribers (making it the 27th-most viewed channel), WatchMojo has one of the largest channels on YouTube. Sixty percent of its viewers and subscribers are male, and 92% are from the United States. Including its international editions like WatchMojo Español and vertical channels like MsMojo, it has over 36 million subscribers. Its global reach when measured by unique monthly viewers has grown from 97 million in March 2018 to 115 million by September 2018 and 150 million by January 2019. Throughout the first three months of 2019, its reach grew to 250 million unique viewers across YouTube, Snap, Facebook and other platforms.
According to the company's official biography, The 10-Year Overnight Success: An Entrepreneurship's Manifesto - How WatchMojo Built the Most Successful Media Brand, WatchMojo's vision is to "inform and entertain," with a mission to produce "a video on every topic." After spending the first half of the 2000s writing hundreds of columns on entertainment, lifestyle and history and publishing two books, company founder Ashkan Karbasfrooshan created WatchMojo to produce videos that were of higher quality than the user-generated fare found on most websites, but in a format, style, length and tone that catered to Internet viewers' tastes. As such, WatchMojo.com was founded in January 2006 by Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, Raphael Daigneault, and Christine Voulieris. Other early key employees include Kevin Havill and Derek Allen. The WatchMojo.com website was launched on 23 January 2006 and its YouTube channel was launched on 25 January 2007. Alex Lefebvre, a former colleague of Karbasfrooshan's, joined in 2008 as CTO and head of design after spending a decade at AskMen and IGN. Originally the content featured hosts and vlog-style presentations, but over the years the programming shifted to more polished visuals featuring voice-overs.
WatchMojo is an independent channel; it is neither a Multi-Channel Network (MCN) nor part of one. According to the CEO Karbasfrooshan, WatchMojo employed 23 full-time employees and a team of 100-plus freelance writers and video editors by October 2014. By March 2017, that number jumped to 50-plus.
The videos it produces are typically submitted and voted on by visitors on its suggestion tool, as well as ideas suggested on its YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter pages. As the activity on its YouTube channel comments' section grew, WatchMojo designed and built the suggest tool to centralize voter submissions. The suggest tool has garnered 10 million votes across the 2.5 million list entries on 500,000 video ideas suggested by the 250,000 users who have signed up for the feature.
On its main YouTube channel, it hit 1 million subscribers on 30 October 2013 and then 5 million subscribers on 29 August 2014. In December 2014, on the day its YouTube channel surpassed 6 million subscribers, it announced a representation deal with talent agency William Morris Endeavor. It surpassed 10 million subscribers on 5 December 2015. The 15 millionth subscriber was registered on July 29, 2017. Across the company's other channels (JrMojo, MsMojo, and the non-English international editions), the WatchMojo Network boasts over 30 million subscribers.
During the 2016-17 regular season of the NHL, WatchMojo sponsored the NY Islanders. In October 2016, Karbasfrooshan published The 10-Year Overnight Success: An Entrepreneurship's Manifesto - How WatchMojo Built the Most Successful Media Brand on YouTube on the company's new publishing imprint, as it ventured into digital books and guides.
In August 2017, WatchMojo was accused of plagiarism. WatchMojo explained that the company relies on its suggest tool as inspiration for many of its videos, and uses a large base of freelance writers, conceding that the company needs to relentlessly educate its writers regarding proper crediting to avoid accusations of plagiarism.
In 2018, WatchMojo announced that it had hired Newfronts co-founder John McCarus as Chief Marketing Officer, former head of revenue at The Onion Matt McDonagh as Chief Revenue Officer, former Bell/Quebecor executive Patrick Lauzon as Chief Audience Officer as well as David Masse as Chief Financial Officer.
The company's advisory board includes former AOL executive and NatGeo president Ted Prince as well as former DMG Entertainment exec Chris Fenton.
The company averages over 5 minutes of watch time per video, far above industry standard. It does not feature user-generated content nor does it allow a mechanism for users to upload videos onto its site. The website produces daily "Top Ten" videos as well as videos summarizing the history of specific niche topics. These topics can be one of 16 categories: Anime, automotive, business, comedy, education, fashion, film, health and fitness, lifestyle, music, parenting, politics and economy, space and science, sports, technology, travel, and video games. Each day it publishes over five videos for 60-75 minutes of original content. In February 2016, it launched the MsMojo channel to better serve female viewers and fans. It also launched multiple non-English channels for the Spanish, French, German, Italian, Turkish, Polish and Hungarian markets.
In April 2017, it launched the JrMojo channel for toddlers and kids.
On April 15, 2017, WatchMojo debuted The Lineup, a game show that combined ranking top 10 lists with elements of a fantasy draft and sports talk radio banter. It won a Telly Award for Best Series in the Web Series category.
On May 31, 2017, WatchMojo live-streamed its first live show, called WatchMojo Live at YouTube Space at Chelsea Market. The show consisted of an afternoon industry track covering online media, advertising, and VR. It was then followed by an evening show featuring DJ Killa Jewel, DJ Dan Deacon, Puddles Pity Party and Caveman.
In June 2017, it launched WatchMojo UK, a channel that focuses on pop culture, entertainment, music, TV, movies and sports based in and around the United Kingdom.
On July 12, 2017, it followed up with WatchMojo Live at YouTube Space in London at King's Cross Station, featuring musical acts by Llew Eyre, Bluey Robinson and Leif Erikson. Speakers at the industry track included Hussain Manawer, Ben Jones and Kim Snow.
In addition to video programming, it has ventured into digital books and guides. Titles under the WatchMojo Publishing unit include Top 10 Anime of All Time, 50 Most Influential Sci-Fi Shows on TV, Read-Only: A Collection of Digital Horror, 75 Most Influential Horror Films of All Time, 50 Most Influential Comics of the 1980s, Top 100 Music Videos of the 2000s, 100 Decade-Defining Movie Movements of the 1990s, as well as its 10-year Special Edition Magazine and 10-Year Overnight Success book covering the company's history and rise of YouTube as a dominant video platform.
In December 2017, it launched The WORST Travel Show on Facebook Watch, a semi-scripted travel comedy series chronicling establishments which have been maligned in online reviews.
It subsequently launched the MojoTalks channel to cover pop culture, entertainment and media news as it continued to expand into other formats than its top 10 lists, including talk and trivia formats.
It expanded into the Science category through the March 2018 acquisition of Unveiled.
By 2019, it expanded on its trivia offerings by launching a trivia app.
In an appearance on Bloomberg BNN in February 2019 with host Jon Ehrlichman, Karbasfrooshan announced the launch of a new brand focused on business with an emphasis on entrepreneurship called Context (Eventually ContextTV). The company published its first documentary called Fox in the Henhouse on the ContextTV channel. The documentary explored the role of entrepreneurship to bridge the wealth gap at a time when young voters are drawn to socialism and billionaire capitalists are ringing alarm bells about income inequality
WatchMojo.com lost money the first six years of operations, broke even in 2012, and has generated a profit since 2013. Due to the 2007-2009 recession, WatchMojo.com had de-emphasized an ad-supported model in favour of licensing fees paid by other media companies to access and use their media. Later that year Beet.TV featured WatchMojo.com alongside Magnify.net as examples of companies which successfully switched from ad-based revenue models to licensing fee based revenue models.
In 2012, it shifted its focus to YouTube and as a result of its growth in subscribers and views, it became profitable. In addition, WatchMojo licenses its content to Verizon's Aol and Go90 platforms, DailyMotion, Facebook and others. Many academic institutions and educational publishers use the company's programming in ESL programs as well as K-12 curriculum. WatchMojo encourages educators and students to use videos in its catalogue that are pertinent and complementary to their studies as part of presentations.
In 2016, Ernst & Young awarded Karbasfrooshan with the Entrepreneur of the Year in the Media & Entertainment category, for the Quebec region, following in the footsteps of Cirque du Soleil's Guy Laliberte, who won it previously.
In March 2018, it acquired the Unveiled channel as its first acquisition. In September 2019, it invested in the Buffer festival which showcases digital creators.