WatchMojo Marks First Full-Year of Profitability in 2011

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WatchMojo turns a profit in 2011 on strength of a 75% growth in revenues.

Six years into the business, we’re independent, growing and profitable; it’s a good place to be.

2011 marked WatchMojo’s first full year of profitability, on the heels of a 75% spike in revenues.

As traditional media companies remain reluctant to fully embrace emerging distribution platforms such as the web, mobile and tablets, companies like WatchMojo are filling the void by producing and publishing content that mirrors cable programming.

With Internet users increasingly watching online video and marketers shifting ad dollars away from display to video, WatchMojo grew considerably in 2011. After finishing 2010 with 245 million all-time views, it added 466 million total video views throughout 2011 to finish the year with 711 million cumulative views, crossing 750 million combined streams in February 2012.

The company’s business model consists of deficit-financing the production of short-form informative and entertaining videos on the people, places and trends that have shaped the world, and then distributing these under licensing and syndication agreements on multiple platforms.

  •     Online, the videos reach nearly 20 million consumers each month on portals including Yahoo!, MSN and AOL, as well as video destinations like YouTube, Hulu. Throughout the year, WatchMojo added Time Warner’s and many other distribution partners.
  •     In out-of-home digital networks, WatchMojo reaches 40 million consumers per month in the United States alone and generated well over a billion impressions throughout 2011.
  •     In mobile, it has generated over 10 million all-time audited mobile streams/downloads (the total number including unaudited views is much higher).
  •     It launched its iPad app to reach consumers on Apple’s popular tablet, which has sold over 55 million units thus far (it took Apple 22 years to sell 55 million Macs; 5 years to sell 22 million iPods and it took us about 3 years to sell that many iPhones).
  •     In the living room, WatchMojo is available through the increasing number of connected devices coming on the market, with apps on Boxee, Roku, Google TV, WDTV Live and many more.

A series of industry trends are also shaping up 2012 to look promising for the company. Namely,

1)    Hulu, YouTube and Netflix are all now underwriting content;

2)    Audiences on YouTube channels are now measured through a partnership between Comscore and YouTube. Indeed, in a year that saw YouTube tower over its competitors, WatchMojo’s YouTube channel now features over 6,500 of its videos, generating over 125 cumulative million views;

3)    VCs are starting to move funds into content, as their investments in tech and platforms have become saturated. In fact, while online video continues to grow in terms of user adoption and popularity, industry revenues have failed to match forecasts and the exits have been fairly rare. Video isn’t immune to this reality: location hasn’t lived up to the hype and online media in general remains small, especially when benchmarked to the total investment in the sector.

Early on investors shunned content creation models for aggregation and curation, with a focus on scaling and cost minimization; but as marketers demanded quality, credibility and authenticity, then WatchMojo’s deep catalogue of 7,000 premium, professionally-produced, evergreen, brand-safe videos has come in greater demand. The videos’ popular topics appeal to distributors; their brand-safe nature pleases advertisers; and their quality draws academic and educational publishers that seek new tools for teachers and students alike.

“No one will mistake our P&L for Google’s, granted, but the fact remains that we have built a lean and profitable model to create high-quality video content at scale, that is a very challenging thing to pull off because quality content creation doesn’t historically scale, especially video content,” explains WatchMojo CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, who launched the company in 2006 after News Corp. bought his last company AskMen.

“Six years into the business, we’re independent, growing and profitable; it’s a good place to be,” concludes Karbasfrooshan.

About WatchMojo
WatchMojo informs and entertains through video by covering the people, places and trends that you care about. The company’s short-form programming answer the questions on Who, What, Where, When and Why across thousands of topics in Automotive, Business, Comedy, Education, Fashion, Film, Food, Health & Fitness, History, How To, Lifestyle, Music, Politics, Science, Space, Sports, Urban Living, Technology, Travel and Video Games.

Providing videos to the world’s largest media companies and academic organizations, WatchMojo is a leading producer of professionally-produced, premium, brand-safe, evergreen, videos. The company’s catalogue of seven thousand videos has generated 750 million video views online and billions more in out-of-home digital networks.

Digiday picked WatchMojo alongside CBS and HBO as the three finalists in the Best Entertainment Category at the Digiday Video Awards. Marketing Magazine picked WatchMojo as one of Canada’s Digital Media Companies to Watch in its September 2011 issue.

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Ashkan Karbasfrooshan