Online video company Jukin Media named former Lifetime and MTV unscripted-TV executive Jessica Samet to head an expanded push into more traditional TV production. The company specializes in finding, acquiring and promoting viral videos online, and in turn licensing its content to video outlets online and in more traditional TV programming. Samet will be charged with developing TV formats around the company’s thousands of video clips and other content. Samet formerly was MTV’s SVP Development and Programming, where she helped develop Jackass, WildBoyz, and Viva La Bam. She also was SVP Reality Programming at Lifetime.
Disney‘s in the process of spending potentially $1B for Maker Studios, and today’s agreement means that — when the deal closes — it will also indirectly manage YouTube channels and videos from Jukin Media, described as “the world’s leading licensing platform for viral video clips.” It has more than 30 YouTube channels including FailArmy, which has 4.8M subs and specializes in videos of people screwing up. Indeed, one of Maker‘s specific goals is to create a website for “all things FailArmy.” (Please, Disney, don’t turn this into a theme park attraction.) The companies also plan to co-produce shows for both the Internet and TV. “Maker clearly has the best expertise and collection of resources for helping us grow our business and brands both on and off YouTube,” says Jukin CEO Jonathan Skogmo. “This was an obvious alliance for us and we’re very excited to get started.”