If you’ve ever searched YouTube for fail videos or cute animal compilations, chances are you’ve landed on a channel owned by Jukin Media. The viral video brand searches the web for user-generated content (UGC) on the brink of virality, purchases the rights, and then works with brands to license the content. Jukin also compiles these user-created videos into wildly popular channels such as FailArmy, The Pet Collective, Poke My Heart, JukinVideo, and People Are Awesome.
These brands combine more than 15 million subscribers on YouTube and 30 million fans on Facebook, as well as over 1.6 billion video views per month, which places Jukin 9th on Tubular’s most recent media property rankings. Out of the top ten media properties, the brand also boasts the title of highest per video view across 30 days at 2,153K views. Jukin is also tied for 2nd in per video engagements with an overall 1.1x increase in engagement compared to average videos. One of the masterminds behind Jukin Media’s popular YouTube channels is Josh Kreitzman, Head of Programming and Publishing. Kreitzman oversees quite a bit of work on a daily basis at the viral video brand in order to keep such notable numbers rolling in. Here’s what he had to say about his day-to-day duties, as well as the success of Jukin’s properties.
This article is part of a new series on Tubular Insights called “A Day in the Life Of,” which highlights the people behind successful video marketing campaigns and YouTube channels. You can read more “A Day in the Life Of” posts by clicking here.
Want to find out more about how viral video brand Jukin Media compiles user-generated videos into popular channels such as Fail Army, The Pet Collective, and People Are Awesome? Join Tubular and Josh Kreitzman as we explore what a day in the life at Jukin looks like – from searching for UGC on the brink of virality, to purchasing the rights to this content, and then licensing this content to brands.
Tubular Insights: How did you get your Head of Programming and Publishing position at Jukin Media?
Josh Kreitzman: I was introduced to Jukin by Sim Blaustein at BDMI, one of Jukin Media’s investors. He and I originally crossed paths when I was at FremantleMedia, and his enthusiasm about the business was infectious. The company was looking to build a digital programming strategy and my experience doing that for artists like Steve Aoki and Pearl Jam, one of the YouTube “Original” channels, television shows like America’s Got Talent and The X Factor, and early web series back in the MySpace days, made it a great fit.
What is the first thing you do when you sit down at your desk?
JK: The first thing I do is check the vitals. I scan email and slack for any urgent issues. I’ll take a look at my schedule for the day and make sure I’m prepared. I’ll also take a look at how any special programming is performing — be it a new format we’re testing, a sponsorship campaign, or our monthly editorial tentpoles.
What does an average day look like for you after this, step-by-step or process-by-process?
JK: With such a dynamic and fast growing business, there’s an ongoing need to reevaluate the “average day,” so that’s a difficult question to answer. Some of the constants:
- Meetings – I’ll meet with team leads about how content performed the previous week and what’s coming up. We’re always iterating, so this often becomes a discussion about how recent audience insights will impact upcoming programming, though pop culture events and internet memes drive those changes as well. I also connect with Sales on sponsorship pitches and campaign status updates, speak with distribution partners about upcoming programming, meet with potential candidates or business partners, and share future plans with various stakeholders at the company.
- Review – One of the most fun parts of the job is watching the incredible content our team puts together, and the great UGC videos coming in from across the world. We’re publishing over 400 pieces of content per month across over a dozen platforms, so I tend to watch the new formats, top and bottom performing videos, and anything we’re evolving based on new data. I also spend a lot of time thinking through our approach to new distribution platforms and models, reviewing launch plans, and publishing operations to maximize the opportunities.
- Analytics – While programming is a creative business, it’s very data-driven at Jukin Media. I regularly check Tubular to track the performance of our brands on various platforms, in addition to the native platform analytics and various reports from distribution partners. I look at how we’re tracking against goals, what the top videos are across the internet, how our competition is doing, etc.
What does your work environment look like?
JK: We’re in an industrial area of Culver City, California, near the westside of LA, that has lots of nearby startups, and sits right underneath the Metro Expo Line. We have a couple of big open spaces in our building, and the programming, production, and publishing operations teams share one of them.
It’s a really collaborative atmosphere. Our videos play on big monitors throughout the office, and people congregate around the ping pong and pool tables, our open kitchens, and various lounge areas. There’s a great energy, especially when a really big viral video is brought in, or when we’re live streaming on Facebook and everyone is eyeing the stats in real time.
What tools do you use to manage Jukin’s channels?
JK: We’ve built a proprietary content management tool that organizes our growing library of viral clips, which are the raw materials that many of our content formats are leveraging. We also use Trello to manage the publishing calendars for our various brands, allowing collaborative work as team members add thumbnails, copy, and finished video to the shared tool.
How do you work with your teams to grow Jukin’s brands?
JK: We foster a culture of experimentation, high velocity, and collaboration, where it’s ok to fail. The concrete never dries, so we’re constantly making changes and fine-tuning.
Why do you think Jukin Media brands in general succeed in terms of online video?
JK: What sets our content apart and makes our brands so successful is the level of authenticity we deliver to fans. Our best-performing content is relatable to viewers by appealing to their own aspirations, shared experiences, and accepted truths. These are regularly scripted and “produced” by our competitors, and we have the advantage of leveraging real moments captured by real people. This helps us deliver quality programming on a consistent basis. Fans know they can rely on great content everyday, and because of how engaged we are with them, they feel like they’re part of the experience.
What’s your biggest challenge in programming and publishing at Jukin?
JK: As the number of video platforms continues to grow on a global basis, determining the right programming fit for each one can be challenging, especially with a relatively small amount of historic data to work with. As it relates to the more mature platforms, changes to discovery algorithms force us to rethink our approach and continuously optimize.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
JK: I’m energized by the speed at which we generate ideas, get them out into the wild, and see feedback from our fans. It’s a very exciting time to be in this business, and being around a super creative team while supporting their growth is extremely rewarding.