Teenage founder Justin Jin turns YouTube channel into billion-view entertainment empire

Justin Jin 1

A study published in The Sun says that 75% of children aged 6 to 17 want to become influencers. So Justin Jin, a high school freshman at the time, posted Minecraft videos on YouTube as50mMidas. By 2020’s New Year’s Eve, he took home $100. The next month, he pulled in a thousand. “For the first year, I saw it as a complete side thing,” Justin shares in USA Today.

Generation Z spends less time watching television, and a lot more time scrolling their smartphone screens. Any media company that wants to stay relevant has to create quick, fun, and informative content. The realization was all the validation Justin needed to finally debut a project that he had fantasized for years.

“Okay, let’s just put content [on social media],” he said. “Let’s do what Condé Nast or Penske does, but more for Gen Z. And let’s make it relatable and authentic. Let’s build a community.” Justin opened up accounts on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, and started with two videos a day. He dove headfirst into Reddit, Twitter, and Discord to research what was trending and what his audience was gravitating towards. “A month in, it was like, ‘I need help here to make it scalable’,” Justin adds. “I can’t do that by myself, especially with [school].” He then hunted down teenagers who had a knack for viral media.

Soon, Justin’s quietly-run social accounts began to blow up with views soaring into the hundreds of millions. “Then it was time to work on quality so we could sustain the viewership,” he continued. “It was also time to start working with some companies, and monetize that.” Justin would call the project 50mMidas Media (which would change to Poybo Media later on), and added a dozen people to the team.

As growth flourished, fresh opportunities blossomed. Justin branched into live content, and joined forces with companies like Microsoft, Lego, and Hanes. Corporations pick the Poybo account to run ads on, and the brands don’t always publish on their in-house accounts. This keeps the low-brow content at a polite distance from traditional marketing. “Leveraging memes is cost efficient,” says Jerry Lu, an investor at Advancit Capital. “It’s a better source of customer acquisition than going the traditional advertising route.” Justin also won multiple Creator Awards from Google YouTube. “Just upload,” he explains. “It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to improve every day. ”

Along with its advertising business, a large portion of Poybo’s revenue comes from e-commerce sales, an area it hopes to grow further. As it currently stands, Poybo Media’s total view count surpasses 2-and-a-half billion.

Justin has big plans for both himself and Poybo. He hopes to attend college in the United States and study the media business. He wants to develop Poybo Media into a giant serving the youth demographic. He’s aware too that some of their accounts tend to target straight men. So they plan to launch women-focused brands led by female executives soon. “It’s essential that we’re more than just online humor for guys,” Justin says. “We want to be the one-stop shop for everyone’s entertainment.”

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