Smosh co-creator Anthony Padilla has announced that he will be leaving the brand he helped found, with him revealing that he’s stepping away from Smosh after 11 years.
Padilla created the YouTube channel Smosh alongside his friend Ian Hecox when the pair were teenagers, with it becoming one of the site’s formative big-name channels in the process. However, Padilla stated that after the channel was acquired by the digital media company Defy Media, he began to lose his passion for it, leading to him making the decision to step down from his role in the YouTube brand.
Padilla has stated that he will now produce original videos on his own YouTube channel, while Ian Hecox will continue the operations on Smosh. Smosh currently boasts over 22.6 million subscribers, making it one of the top 5 most popular YouTube channels, while the brand also has over 7 million subscribers on its separate SmoshGames channel. Padilla’s own channel has over 1 million subscribers.
Smosh was a huge success for Padilla and Hecox, with it initially beginning as a YouTube channel on which they’d post short, funny videos, before becoming a bank-rolling media brand in its own right. Their popularity on the site led to them creating their own feature films, including 2015’s Smosh: The Movie and the YouTube Red exclusive Ghostmates. Their videos have amassed over 11 billion views.
Speaking during the video announcing his departure from Smosh, Padilla explained that while the company was previously just “a YouTube channel where Ian and I made videos together just because we liked to make each other laugh,” when it became a business he began to lose interest in the channel. He continued: “I’ve been holding on to these memories and hoping that someday Smosh would be like how it was when we first started, before Smosh was a brand owned by a company, and I had to come to terms with the fact that Smosh being part of a company has put all of my creative decisions through a filter of what’s appropriate for the Smosh brand, as deemed by the company.”
Smosh has existed for nearly as long as YouTube, with the channel being created in autumn 2015, only a few months after the site went online in February 2015. Padilla and Hecox became one of the earliest viral video creators, with their funny rendition of the Mortal Kombat theme being widely shared online, it currently sitting at nearly 30 million views. Now Smosh has 14 cast members, each producing weekly sketches on the main channel, while various personalities helm its seven spin-off channels.
Watch Anthony Padilla’s video announcing his departure from Smosh below:
Padilla also appeared alongside Ian Hecox in a farewell video to Smosh’s fans: