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Philip DeFranco

Philip DeFranco
DeFranco at VidCon 2012
Personal information
Born Philip Franchini, Jr.
(1985-12-01) December 1, 1985 (age 34)
The Bronx, New York
New York, US
Height 6 ft. (1.83 m)
Nationality American
Residence Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, US
Occupation YouTube personality, Senior VP of Phil DeFranco Networks and Merchandise
Religion None
YouTube information
Channel name
  • sxephil
  • PhilipDeFranco
Years active 2006–present
  • News
  • Current Events
  • Vlogging
Subscribers 3.4 million (sxephil), 910,000 (sxephil) (April 2015)
Total views 1.3 billion (sxephil), 130 million (PhilipDeFranco) (April 2015)
Network Philip DeFranco Network & Merchandise
(Discovery Digital Networks)
Associated acts
Subscriber and view counts updated as of April 2, 2015.

Philip Franchini, Jr.[1] or Philip Franchina[2] (born December 1, 1985), better known by his stage name Philip DeFranco, his YouTube username "sxephil", or his online alias "PhillyD", is an American video blogger and YouTube personality. He is most notable for The Philip DeFranco Show, usually abbreviated PDS, a news show centered on current events, sex, politics, pop culture, and celebrity gossip in which he voices his opinion, often presented in a satirical manner and with frequent jump cuts to create a fast-paced feel. His network of channels has over two billion views, and over six million total subscribers, with his primary channel, Philip DeFranco (formerly sxephil), having accumulated over 3.4 million subscribers and 1.4 billion views, as of April 2015.[3]

DeFranco registered his sxephil YouTube channel in 2006. Early into his YouTube career, his audience led to his winning of various open access online polls. DeFranco also created various other YouTube channels, including: PhillyD (formerly PhilipDeFranco), a personal vlog and behind the scenes channel, and SourceFed, an original and Google funded YouTube channel focused on news and pop culture. Additionally, SourceFed spawned a spinoff channel, SourceFed Nerd, as well. In 2013, DeFranco sold his channels to Discovery Digital Networks. Since then DeFranco has been involved in launching ForHumanPeoples, a channel based on his merchandise line of the same name, Super Panic Frenzy, a gaming channel featuring other personalities signed by Discovery Digital, and TheDeFrancoFam, a family vlogging channel.

Early life

Philip Franchini was born in The Bronx, New York, United States,[4][5] and he has a step mother who works at a car dealership.[6] He has been a student at the University of South Florida,[7] a biology student at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College,[2][8] and later a junior at East Carolina University.[9] In 2007, Phil was living in Florida, but more recently Atlanta.[9] He also worked as a waiter in a number of restaurants while making videos in 2007.[10] DeFranco lived in a car until moving back with his father in Tampa, Florida, on condition that he would return to college which he later failed to do.[11]


2006–2011: Beginnings on YouTube

Further information: The Philip DeFranco Show
File:YouTube Partner Meet-Up VidCon2010a.jpg
DeFranco (holding mic) at VidCon 2010

"You just got to make do with what you have. Have fun with it. Not overlook the good things in your life because you think of them as responsibilities. And that's what sometimes this fun thing feels like. This conversation, these outward thoughts, sometimes make me think of myself as a dancing monkey for the audience. That's actually why I've always had the monkey poster in the background, or the monkey intro. A lot of people have always wondered, 'cause I feel like we're all kind of dancing monkeys. Whether it's for our jobs, our friends.

—DeFranco on the monkey themes found throughout his show, 2010.[12]

DeFranco began his YouTube career during his finals at East Carolina University when he created his sxephil YouTube channel.[9][13] Despite not having any formal journalism training, he is notable for his staple show The Philip DeFranco Show, in which he talks about "newsie type stuff, and things that matter to him [today]."[11][14]

Before the YouTube partner program was available, he has asked for donations from his viewers after claiming to have run out of money, and selling everything except his Mac, camera, and clothes and overdrawing his bank account so he could spend a night in a hotel as he found it too scary sleeping in a car in Brooklyn.[15]

There are approximately 70 old videos that are unlisted or private as DeFranco finds them too embarrassing.[16]

An online viewer census, from 2007, showed one third of his viewers are 16 and 17 year old girls.[2] In the same year, DeFranco opened his second YouTube channel, "PhilipDeFranco", which includes a series of vlogs which he calls "The Vloggity".[17] During August 2007, DeFranco conducted an experiment by uploading a video titled "Big Boobs and You", the videos thumbnail was just like the title, except it the image only flashed for split second. The rest of the video is DeFranco talking. It quickly became his most successful video at the time, with 1.8 million views. From then on he changed his content to sex, gossip, and news.[18]

DeFranco used his large audience to win the Spore Creature Creator, a game promotion competition, and in doing so beat celebrities such as Stan Lee, Katy Perry, and Elijah Wood, among others.[19] The winner's prize was to choose which charity would receive a donation of $15,000. He chose the PKD Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting polycystic kidney disease (PKD), which he attributed to his family's history with the condition.[9] Defranco's large online audience also enabled him to win Wired's Sexiest Geek of 2008 competition, a reader voted contest.[20]

In 2009, he claimed in an interview to have a salary of over $250,000 from a number of sources on the Internet, not just YouTube, but later denied it in several videos.[9] In February 2012, DeFranco claims he pays himself $100,000 a year, and reinvests the rest back into his company.[21][22] He has been paid by companies to create videos to promote Carl's Jr.'s burgers,[23][24] and the US television series Lie to Me and Fringe.[25]

DeFranco was a founding member of The Station, but left only a few months after it was created.[21] DeFranco also launched Like Totally Awesome, (LTA) where video reviews submitted by viewers are compiled into a single video. Reviews submitted cover movie, video game or a piece of technology.[26] The show was run by Sarah Penna, the creator of the YouTube Multi-channel network, Big Frame.[27] Early in his YouTube career, Penna aided DeFranco, securing him coverage in news articles & magazines, such as Fast Company.[28][29] In March 2010, the sxephil channel surpassed 1 million subscribers.[30] In July 2010, along with Toby Turner, DeFranco co-created, CuteWinFail, an online series which has been described by one ReadWrite writer as, "essentially the YouTube equivalent of America’s Funniest Home Videos."[31]

Hooking Up

In October 2008, DeFranco co-starred with Jessica Rose and Kevin Wu in Hooking Up, written and acted by Woody Tondorf as a promo from HBOLabs (the online arm of HBO). Hooking Up is a scripted 10-episode Web-based series set at a fictional university where the students spend most of their time emailing and using Facebook, but still manage to miscommunicate.[32]

Guest appearances on Hooking Up have been made by Kevin Nalty, Michael Buckley, and other popular Internet celebrities.[33]

By the show's second day on YouTube, it had received more than 450,000 views, which for the time was considered a success.[34][35] Bobbie Johnson of The Guardian said that many Web surfers had "scoffed at what they see as a cynical attempt to cash in."[36]

2012–present: Creating a Network

In early 2012, DeFranco signed with Revision3.[37][38][39] Later in the year, DeFranco hosted the 25th anniversary of Discovery Channel's Shark Week.[39][40][41][42]

In September 2012, it was reported that DeFranco receives almost 30 million views a month.[40]

In January 2013, DeFranco announced that he would be meeting with United States Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the topic of gun laws.[43] Google's official blog revealed that the two, along with Guy Kawasaki would be discussing in a Google+ Hangout.[44] The discussion moderator was revealed to be PBS NewsHour's Hari Sreenivasan.[45] The following month, it was announced that DeFranco will be a guest judge on the second season of Internet Icon.[46]

In May 2013, DeFranco's assets, including The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed, were acquired by Revision3, which itself was a subsidiary of Discovery Digital Networks.[47][48] Upon the acquisition, DeFranco became added as an exec of Revision3, the Senior VP of a new Revision3 subsidiary, Phil DeFranco Networks and Merchandise.[49][50] DeFranco spoke with Jon Erlichman about his partnership with Revision3 following the deal.[51] In October 2013, as part of his new network, DeFranco launched another channel, ForHumanPeoples.[52]

In November 2013, DeFranco was a special guest a live pre-show simulcast for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary from YouTube Space LA.[53] Additionally, DeFranco has organized live shows and meetup events in locations such as Arizona, Los Angeles, and Toronto.[54][55][56]

DeFranco aspired to have launched channels within his network by the end of 2013, though due to, "the logistical complications of joining Discovery, adding staff and strategizing the future," those plans did not materialize.[57] DeFranco later planned 2014 to be the year that he would begin launching new channels.[57] This once again did not fall through, although in 2015, DeFranco was involved in the launching of Super Panic Frenzy, a gaming network, including a YouTube channel and a Twitch live-stream show.[58][59] In addition, DeFranco launched a family vlogging channel, The DeFranco Fam, in March 2015.[60]


Main article: SourceFed
File:SourceFed hosts.jpg
The three original hosts of SourceFed (Left to right: Elliot Morgan, Lee Newton, Joe Bereta)

In January 2012, DeFranco launched SourceFed, which at the time was produced by James Haffner.[61][62][63]

DeFranco had The Philip DeFranco Show and SourceFed nominated for awards in the 3rd installment of the Streamy Awards. The PDS was nominated for Best First-Person Series and Best News and Culture Series. SourceFed was also nominated for Best News and Culture Series, as well as Best Live Series. SourceFed's #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage was nominated for Best Live Event.[64]

DeFranco, along with SourceFed co-hosts, Elliott Morgan and Meg Turney, joined journalists at the 2012 Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention as part of YouTube's "Elections Hub".[11][65][66] Later, in May 2013, SourceFed Nerd, a branch of SourceFed, was launched.[67]


DeFranco's merchandise line is ForHumanPeoples. The line's website was launched by DeFranco in 2011, two years before DeFranco launched a YouTube channel based on the clothing line.[68] Like SourceFed, and its Nerd spinoff, the FHP channel is part of DeFranco's network.[68]

In October 2013, the FHP channel uploaded a video pairing Joe Bereta's daughter, Hayden Bereta, with designer Cory Nakamura, and the Generosity Water charity.[69] The video features Hayden Bereta drawing a superhero design, at the instruction of Elliott Morgan, which was then transferred into a shirt design, with proceeds from shirt sales going to the charity.[70]

Personal channel

DeFranco opened his personal channel, under the YouTube username, PhilipDeFranco, on September 19, 2007.[71] Initially, the channel was used for behind-the-scenes for his main series, but now it serves as a channel where DeFranco vlogs about life events, such as announcing his first child's then upcoming birth.[72]

The series is part of Phil DeFranco Networks & Merchandise, a subsidiary of Discovery Digital Networks'. The Vloggity is a video blog, or "vlog", style show. In May 2013, The Vloggity, along with DeFranco's other assets at the time, were acquired by Revision3.[47][73]


Due to joining YouTube in 2006 and soon gaining a sizable audience on the website, DeFranco has been described by Lucas Shaw of TheWrap as, " one of the first video bloggers to find success on YouTube, and has since built ," as well as having an, "entrepreneurial spirit and understanding of YouTube."[57] David Cornell of The Inquisitr News writes that DeFranco is, "one of the leading sources of news," on YouTube, later adding, "Philip DeFranco is a YouTube success story."[74] Alex Iansiti of Huffington Post noted, "The Philip DeFranco Show is a great example of a media company to sprout out of YouTube."[75] The Los Angeles Times has described DeFranco as, "the Walter Cronkite for the YouTube generation who generates hundreds of headlines in under 10 minutes."[76] Sarah Kessler of Fast Company has referred to DeFranco as his generation's, "Jon Stewart, if not Rupert Murdoch and News Corp."[77]

Personal life

DeFranco has polycystic kidney disease which he inherited from his father and grandfather; his family has a history of it.[9]

Politically, he is a libertarian.[78] Additionally, DeFranco announced he would vote for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.[78][79] DeFranco has admitted that he has used marijuana in the past, stating, "I have a prescription and I take it to sleep. Also if it makes the movie I'm falling asleep to 10x funnier, that is a side effect I am ok with."[80] DeFranco has described his political views as, "fiscally conservative, socially liberal, for the most part."[81] He has also stated that he was raised in the Roman Catholic church, but in April 2013, he identified as an agnostic.[82] However more recently, on December 3, 2013, DeFranco stated he is an atheist.[83]

As of 2015, DeFranco lives in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles with his wife, Lindsay Jordan Doty, their son Philip "Trey" DeFranco III, and their two Yorkshire Terriers, Rookie and Ace.[84][85] DeFranco proposed to Doty, then his longtime girlfriend, on August 16, 2013 at his "DeFranco Loves Dat AZ" show in Tempe, Arizona.[86][87] The proposal was set up by a question from the audience to Lindsay, asking if she thought she and DeFranco would ever marry. DeFranco responded by proposing to Lindsay on stage. Lindsay said "yes" just when her parents appeared on the stage. On October 8, 2013, DeFranco and Doty announced they were expecting their first child in April.[88][89] On October 16, they revealed the sex of their firstborn to be male. Their son, named Philip "Trey" DeFranco III, was born on April 22, 2014.[90]DeFranco and Doty's wedding took place on March 7, 2015, and was noted for being amply captured on social media.[91][92] Fellow YouTube personality Michael Buckley officiated the ceremony.[91]

Awards and nominations

Year Work Category Award Result Ref.
2008 Philip DeFranco Sexiest Geek Wired magazine Won [20]
2010 Best Vlogger 2nd Streamy Awards Nominated [93]
2013 The Philip DeFranco Show Best News Series 2nd IAWTV Awards Won [94]
Best Writing (Non-Fiction) Nominated [95]
Best First-Person Series 3rd Streamy Awards Nominated [64]
Best News and Culture Series Won [64]
SourceFed Nominated [64]
Audience Choice for Best Series of the Year Won [64]
Best Live Series Nominated [64]
SourceFed: #PDSLive 2012 Election Night Coverage Best Live Event Nominated [64]
2014 The Philip DeFranco Show Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year 4th Streamy Awards Nominated [96]
SourceFed News and Current Events Won [96]
Audience Choice for Best Show of the Year Nominated [96]
SourceFed Nerd Gaming Nominated [96]

See also


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External links

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