Jukin Media

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Jukin Media
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryEntertainment, Digital Media
Founded2009; 15 years ago (2009)
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Key people
Lee Essner (president and Chief Operating Officer)
Josh Entman (Cofounder and Chief Development Officer)
BrandsFailArmy, JukinVideo, World's Funniest, The Pet Collective, Weather Spy
ParentTrusted Media Brands

Jukin Media, Inc. is an entertainment company that operates by identifying shareable or otherwise compelling user-generated videos, negotiating with the video owners, and then licensing the videos for third-party use and/or featuring the videos in its own productions. The company was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Skogmo, Aldo Carrascoso, and Josh Entman and is headquartered in Los Angeles.[1][2][3]


Jukin Media's co-founder and CEO Jonathan Skogmo conceived of the idea for the company while working as a video researcher and producer for the television show Country Fried Home Videos.[1][4] After realizing there was an opportunity to aggregate and monetize digital clips which appeared on YouTube and other online video platforms, he, Aldo Carrascoso, and Josh Entman started Jukin Media in 2009 from his apartment in West Hollywood, California.[1][4][5]

Between 2013 and 2015, the company raised several rounds of funding totaling $4.2 million from investors including, among others, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Peter Guber, Maker Studios, and Samsung Ventures.[1][6][7][8]

In 2014, Jukin partnered with Maker Studios, giving Maker Studios access to Jukin's library of video clips and giving Jukin access to Maker's operational resources.[9] The partnership also resulted in the launch of a dedicated website for FailArmy, Jukin's owned and operated entertainment brand.[9] In August 2017, the company announced that it had paid more than $15 million to viral video creators.[10][11]

On October 16, 2018, Sinclair Broadcast Group signed an agreement with Jukin to assume operational responsibilities for TBD, effective immediately. The agreement will also result in content supplied by Jukin being expanded on TBD’s programming lineup.[12]

On August 11, 2020, Jukin announced partnerships with BroadbandTV and Fullscreen to provide their rosters of influencers and YouTubers exclusive discounts to Jukin’s library, dedicated customer support, and early access to new features.[13]

In August 2021, Jukin was acquired by Trusted Media Brands, a parent company of Reader's Digest.[14]


Jukin Media operational model involves discovering, acquiring, and licensing user-generated video clips. Besides licensing those video clips for use by advertisers, digital publishers, TV shows, and other entities, it provides licensing and clearance services to production companies and media networks.[15] Additionally, Jukin Media produces and owns a variety of multimedia channels on media platforms such as YouTube, cable television, and broadcast television.[1]

Licensing model[edit]

Through a process of review which utilizes proprietary software and manual sorting, Jukin identifies videos that potentially may go viral and then negotiates with the video's owner to establish a licensing agreement with the user.[1] Jukin pays video owners for every video, whether by one-time payment or ongoing revenue share. Once Jukin has acquired a clip, it monetizes the clip with advertisements and integrates the clip into its library of videos that are available for third-party use.[1][16] After being acquired, the video clips are licensed to third-parties that distribute them through a variety of channels including social media, television, and websites.[1]

Notable examples[edit]

One notable example of the type of videos that Jukin Media seeks out is Jared Frank Kicked in the Head, a video depicting a Canadian man filming himself being kicked in the head by the driver of a passing passenger train in Peru.[1][17][18] As of August 2015, the video, licensed by Jukin Media, had nearly reached 38 million views and had netted the video's creator approximately $30,000. As of April 2024 the video has 39 million videos.[17][19]

Pizza Rat, a viral video depicting a rat carrying a large slice of pizza to its home on the New York City Subway, has a similar story.[20][21] The video’s creator Matt Little signed with Jukin Media when the video had received just a few thousand views; within a few weeks it had more than 8 million views on YouTube, and was featured on many popular TV shows and websites, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Conan. By April 2024 the video has attained 12 million views.[22][23]

Other videos that Jukin Media has been involved with include Hero Cat[2][24] and Chewbacca Mask Lady, which became the most watched Facebook Live video ever recorded.[25][26][27]

In addition to viral videos, Jukin Media’s business model has contributed to widely circulated situations where content removal has occurred. In June 2020, JM issued a DMCA takedown notice on President Donald Trump's Twitter account for unauthorized usage of a viral video; Twitter removed the content.[28][29][30]

Television programs[edit]

Jukin Media produced two programs in conjunction with MRC's Dick Clark Productions International to syndicating both programs worldwide.

Now That's Funny![edit]

The company produces the TV show Now That's Funny! on Britain's Channel 5, which is a family-friendly clip show airing on Sunday nights.[10][31]

FailArmy (TV series)[edit]

Jukin Media also produces an international TV version of FailArmy. The half-hour comedy based on the popular YouTube channel airs in 221 TV markets worldwide.[32]

Related properties[edit]

In addition to the company's video services, it is the producer of World's Funniest on FOX; it is the owner and operator of several consumer-facing entertainment brands, including FailArmy.[33][15] FailArmy produces fail videos (people being unsuccessful in an endeavor) and has a subscriber base of approximately 14.5 million users on its YouTube channel and more than 18.4 million fans on its Facebook page as of March 2019, and The Pet Collective, which is a joint venture between Jukin and FremantleMedia's Tiny Riot! studio.[34][8][35]


In November 2014, Jukin Media was sued by YouTuber Ray William Johnson for requesting the removal of 41 "Equals Three" videos which sampled their content. In February 2016, JM and Equals Three settled out of court before the jury’s verdict could be revealed to the court. While the verdict in the case remains sealed, members of the jury informed media outlets that the jury unanimously found that Equals Three's usage of Jukin video content was not fair use under U.S. copyright law.[36][37]

In January 2020, Jukin Media engaged in a public dispute with YouTube channel MxR Plays; Jukin Media accused the channel of copyright infringement and MxR Plays accused Jukin Media of extortion. Within a few days, Jukin Media and MxR reached an agreement which was satisfactory to both parties. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.[38][39]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Inside the Company That's Made Viral Videos Big Business". Wired. August 4, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Finding Video Gold in the Web's Garbage". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "Company's Secret Weapon To Make Videos Go Viral". National Public Radio. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Worth a Look?". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "A Q and A With A Viral Video Network". Forbes. Archived from the original on May 23, 2017. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 9, 2014). "YouTube Video Firm Jukin Media Raises $1.2 Million from Peter Guber, Allen DeBevoise and Others". Variety. Archived from the original on January 11, 2020.
  7. ^ "Viral video network Jukin Media raises $1.2 million in funding". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Trip, Fall and Raise a Million Dollars: Jukin Media, the FailArmy People, Grabs Money from Maker Studios, Bertelsmann". Recode. May 12, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "No Fail Here: Maker Studios Gets Powerful Viral Video Partner in Jukin Media". Mashable. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  10. ^ a b David Pierson (May 20, 2016). "Fall on your face? Jukin Media will pay for the video". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Ryan Bradley (May 18, 2016). "How viral video companies can turn pizza rats into boatloads of cash". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Mark K. Miller (October 17, 2018). "Jukin Media Operating Sinclair's TBD Network". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media.
  13. ^ "BBTV | Jukin Media Announces First-Ever Self-Service Offering For Content Creators, Publishers to License User-Generated Content". www.bbtv.com.
  14. ^ Hayes, Dade (August 12, 2021). "Jukin Media, Video Pioneer Known For Fail Army And 'Pizza Rat', Is Acquired By Trusted Media Brands". Deadline Hollywood.
  15. ^ a b "Jukin Media Gives Ryan Seacrest's Game Show a Viral Boost (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  16. ^ "Jukin Media: Building an empire on other people's viral videos". Digiday. March 19, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Train Kick Selfie Guy is set to scoop up to $250,000 thanks to his viral video - so how can you cash in on your candid moments?". The Independent. April 23, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "Facebook's new video business is awash with copyright infringement and celebrities are some of the biggest offenders". Business Insider. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  19. ^ "That train-meets-man video: $250,000 to get kicked in the head. Sign me up!". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  20. ^ John Biggs (September 24, 2015). "Meet Jukin Media, The Company That Now Owns Pizza Rat". Techcrunch.
  21. ^ Ryan Harkness (September 23, 2015). "Stephen Colbert Jumps On Board The Pizza Rat Bandwagon".
  22. ^ Davey Alba (September 23, 2015). "You Love Pizza Rat. You Don't Own Pizza Rat". Wired.
  23. ^ Anthony Domanico (September 24, 2015). "Pizza Rat channels 'Ratatouille' chef in 'Conan' spoof". CNET.
  24. ^ "Hero cat's family tells story behind boy's rescue: 'Dog did not even know what hit him'". USA Today. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  25. ^ Steven Perlberg (July 20, 2016). "How Jukin Media Finds and Buys Viral Videos". The Wall Street Journal.
  26. ^ Nick Allen (May 21, 2016). "Mother laughing hysterically in Chewbacca mask breaks Facebook Live viewing record". Telegraph.
  27. ^ "Mum in Chewbacca mask shatters Facebook Live record". BBC News. May 20, 2016.
  28. ^ Ghosh, Shona (June 19, 2020). "Facebook has now removed the Trump post featuring doctored video of a Black toddler and fake CNN graphics". Business Insider. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  29. ^ O'Sullivan, Donie (June 19, 2020). "Parent of toddler in 'manipulated' Trump video forces Facebook and Twitter to remove it". CNN. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  30. ^ Hendel, John (June 19, 2020). "Facebook, Twitter take down Trump's toddler video over copyright complaint". Politico. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  31. ^ Sahil Patel (December 16, 2015). "How Jukin makes TV shows from viral Web videos". Digiday.
  32. ^ Alex Ben Block (March 25, 2015). "'Fail Army' Marches Into a Second Season Overseas". The Hollywood Reporter.
  33. ^ Weiner, Allen (November 21, 2014). "YouTube breakout series 'FailArmy' coming to Fox's TV lineup". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on August 18, 2020.
  34. ^ "FailArmy". YouTube. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  35. ^ "'Fail Army' Marches Into a Second Season Overseas". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  36. ^ Spangler, Todd (March 4, 2016). "Jukin Media, Equals Three Settle YouTube Viral-Video Copyright Lawsuit". Variety. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  37. ^ Cullins, Ashley (March 3, 2016). "YouTube Trial: Juror Says YouTuber's Incorporation of Unlicensed Clips Is Not Fair Use". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  38. ^ Wood, Charlie (January 14, 2020). "Two YouTubers with 2 million subscribers face a $6,000 bill over a copyright complaint and risk losing their channel if they don't pay up". Business Insider.
  39. ^ Gerken, Tom (January 13, 2020). "YouTubers face £4,600 bill over copyright claims". BBC News.

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