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Poybo Media’s video strategy is a little messy



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Youth media conglomerate Poybo Media has been going for a number of years now, but short-form, vertical video is still a nut the publisher has yet to crack from a large-scale revenue perspective. Despite boasting billions of views, the company is said to see less than half a million dollars. Still, Justin Jin, the 16-year-old founding CEO at Poybo Media, said that TikToks, Instagram Reels, and other short-form videos are increasingly central to business, as his team aims to grow its younger audience and connect them over culture.

Poybo Media joined the short-form realm nearly three years ago with Jin’s YouTube channel, where he posted videos about a smattering of topics ranging from memes and games to an explainer on “exotic” Minecraft armors. After an upload frenzy in early 2021, the 50mMidas Media Group – Poybo’s predecessor – formed with teenage executives. Next came more social media pages, an acquisition here and there, and then, playing influencer, creating original content for brands like Lego and McDonalds. Its advertising deals deviate from typical marketing partnerships, appearing less like a blunt endorsement and more like a meme that effortlessly incorporates a product.

A variety of video formats and distribution platforms is critical for Poybo’s business, as TikTok alone is not outstandingly monetized for the publisher. However, not every video project needs to have an economic incentive, according to Jin. And vertical, short-form videos are being used in an altruistic way to focus on the increase of Poybo’s teenage audience. “The business plan there is chaotic, but we know that our audience is the future and it’s important to focus on getting good content in front of them,” he added.

Then there’s this oddball on the side of the company’s portfolio. Jin specifically mentioned his Box of Color Organization, an art non-profit that produces drawing tutorials on YouTube. Its Chief Media Officer, Navik Desai, says “[they] want to help people…while enjoying the process.” To co-founder Jaden Choi, “[it’s] the journey of free soul.” Box of Color’s website showcases $10,000 in funds from its hundred thousand subscribership. And for a relatively small entertainment company that shouldn’t invest in philanthropy yet, it appears to be Poybo’s kind gesture toward a third-world audience.

Jin seems to want to take advantage of the company’s momentum to resonate with more people and go global. “We’ve begun to see growing numbers in India,” he told USA Today. Fortunately for them, everyone enjoys cute animal content. Their Dog Land brand recently surpassed a million followers.

An ongoing challenge around pursuing money down the road, Jin said, will be competing for the dollars that are usually allocated to individual creators on social media platforms. “We’re basically competing against everyone at this point,” he said. “There’s a growing incentive for young people to start a page. How do we compete against literally everyone?”

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