Jukin Media, Video Pioneer Known For Fail Army And ‘Pizza Rat’, Is Acquired By Trusted Media Brands

Jukin Media, a longtime supplier of user-generated videos like the widely circulated clip “Pizza Rat,” has been acquired by Trusted Media Brands, whose media portfolio includes Reader’s Digest.

Terms were not disclosed, but Forbes reported that the deal values Jukin at more than $100 million. Because there is little duplication between the two companies, plans call for Jukin’s worldwide staff of nearly 300 to be integrated with Trusted Media’s existing workforce of 400.

Founded in 2009, Jukin had not raised a large amount of capital, choosing instead to fund its expansion more organically. Its $6 million in funding came from investors including Samsung and Peter Guber, the onetime Hollywood studio chief who heads Mandalay Entertainment. Its properties include Fail Army, People Are Awesome, The Pet Collective and WeatherSpy. Jukin says it reaches more than 220 million people online and generates more than 2 billion minutes of video views each month across streaming TV and social media.

Jukin over the past decade has become a leading source for TV programmers and advertisers looking to tap into popular social media currents. In 2020, the company licensed more than 2,000 video clips for use in ad campaigns and also licensed clips on TV and digital properties in nearly 100 countries. The “Pizza Rat” clip, which became a sensation in 2015, has been licensed to more than 80 TV, film and advertising entities, with deals continuing for years.

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Hedge-fund-backed Trusted Media Brands became Reader’s Digest‘s official corporate mantle several years ago after the once-ubiquitous magazine filed for bankruptcy. Trusted Media’s portfolio also includes Taste of Home and Family Handyman.

“Trusted Media Brands’ powerful network of brand relationships, our growing portfolio of community-driven lifestyle media brands and our proprietary first-party data platform, together with Jukin Media’s social media, video production and streaming TV acumen, are positioning us for our future and fueling significant opportunity for long-term growth,” said Trusted Media Brands CEO Bonnie Kintzer said in the official deal announcement. “Our audience benefits from an even broader array of engaging content to fuel their favorite pastimes, and our collective capabilities provide our advertising partners with increased revenue-driving opportunities and a wider audience base across emergent and established platforms.”

Jukin founder and CEO Jonathan Skogmo called the acquisition “an amazing moment for the incredibly hard-working team at Jukin Media. We’ve spent the past decade pouring ourselves into this business, and that dedication shows in the success we’ve seen across streaming, production, social and licensing.” He said the combination with Trusted Media Brands is a “remarkable fit,” with the two companies sharing a “similar growth mindset.”

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