Fine Brothers Entertainment (Also known as FBE) is an American media company, founded by brothers Benny Fine (born March 19, 1981) and Rafi Fine (born June 9, 1983), creators and media entrepreneurs. FBE produce the React video series, their several timed-spoiler series, narrative web series, and created a "transmedia" sitcom on YouTube, MyMusic. FBE has been creating content since 2004, and has many large digital channels on YouTube (REACT, FBE, FBE2, Try Not To), Facebook (FBE, FBE Shows, Do They Know It, What Would My Kid Do, and Reverse Ratings), Snapchat (Try Not To and React) and Instagram's IGTV, has sold multiple television shows (React to That, Celebs React, Six Degrees of Everything, Emo Dad, and Sing It!), and released their first feature film in 2017 (F the Prom).
FBE has over 8 billion views and over 32 million subscribers. They are one of the few companies to have two YouTube channels with over 10 million subscribers. Due to a controversy over an attempt to license and trademark the term "React", as well as the names of their series, the Fine Brothers' channels lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers in early 2016. However, they had regained their former subscriber numbers by May 2016.
In July of 2018, Marc Hustvedt joined as the new CEO of FBE to help with the continued growth of the company. With the addition of Marc as CEO, FBE went on to expand their consumer products offering by acquiring Officially Pinned in early 2019 and later that year established an Interactive Content Lab to expand the studio’s interactive storytelling capabilities to help with their partnership with Eko.
Early life and career
The brothers grew up in the 1990s in an Orthodox Jewish family in Brooklyn. The Fine Brothers stated that they have been making videos almost their entire life; Benny, being the elder brother, would "rope [Rafi] into making all kinds of weird stuff." New York detailed the two "started recording comedy sketches as adolescents, when they got their first video camera." They spent most of their teen years in Sullivan County, New York. Benny started college at age 15, while Rafi attended Dickinson College for two years before transferring to Hunter College, where he got a degree in film studies. The two began entertaining their friends with short sketches and full length comedies shot with action figures.
The brothers stated that they created a live action feature in 2000 that made its way into comedy film festivals, and that they were planning to create a feature each year, hoping that one feature would soon help the brothers break into Hollywood. Despite winning young filmmaker awards, they soon came to the conclusion that this method would not be the best path, and decided their future would be on the internet, which they viewed at the time as the new film festival. The brothers created their first website in 2003, and uploaded their first web video in 2004.
History of the Company
FBE found success on YouTube where their main channel, TheFineBros (later renamed Fine Brothers Entertainment, and currently FBE), has more than 19 million subscribers and 7.8 billion video views as of May 2019. FBE also has a secondary channel, under the name FBE2, launched on May 14, 2009. A third channel was launched on July 22, 2014 under the name React, as a way to expand their React content.
FBE soon joined the Maker Studios venture, and stated that after speaking with Shane Dawson about a plan for the project, "we were the head of production and head of creative." The duo ran Maker Studios throughout 2009 and were responsible for the early success and planning for what became known as Multi-channel networks (MCNs)—they have since been vocal advocates for fair treatment of creators by the networks.
On their main channel, FBE upload a multitude of series, creating some of the most popular scripted, narrative, and unscripted series in web history including their award-winning and notable reaction series. They release behind the scenes content, as well as clips from their news podcast "All We Know" on the secondary channel. On October 16, 2010, they uploaded the first episode of Kids React, the first series in what would later become a notable React franchise on YouTube.
Aside from the popular series that the brothers have directed, produced, and uploaded, the duo also has uploaded popular interactive YouTube videos. The company's channels are under the YouTube partner program, allowing them to earn money from ad revenues on their videos. They have also been sponsored by Ford and Comedy Central.
FBE has also collaborated in a variety of ways including writing, directing and producing with other popular YouTubers such as Shane Dawson, ShayCarl, and KassemG, along with collaborating with more in many ways including on their YouTubers React show with top channels such as Smosh and PewDiePie.
The Fine Brothers were guest judges on the second season of the web series Internet Icon.
In December 2013, the duo left Revision3 to sign with Fullscreen though remained vocal about YouTube multi-channel networks, devoting a segment in their update vlog series, Fine Time, discussing how to navigate them.
On April 30, 2014, it was announced that a spin-off of FBE's React series called React to That was going to be aired on Nickelodeon. FBE stated in an episode of Fine Time that they plan on continuing to upload YouTube videos consistently, however. The show aired 12 episodes. They also created and host the TV series Six Degrees of Everything that aired on TruTV in 2015. In early 2016, New York detailed that their company employed around 50 people.
Works of FBE have been featured on the websites of The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, Variety, and MSNBC.
Marc Hustvedt joined FBE as CEO in July of 2018, coming from the New York based digital brand Above Average. Prior to Above Average, Hustvedt was co-founder and CEO of Supergravity Pictures, a digital-first entertainment studio and distributor that was later acquired by Gunpowder & Sky. From 2011-13, he was head of entertainment at Chill, a short-lived premium online video destination whose backers included WME. Hustvedt also is a co-founder of trade publication Tubefilter and the Streamy Awards.
At the beginning of 2019, FBE acquired Officially Pinned, an upstart that creates collectible pins in collaboration with top creators such as Shane Dawson, DangMattSmith, Danny Casale, jennxpenn and many more. Officially Pinned gets certified approval from creators and rights-holding partners to vend the pins and works directly with the parties involved to collaborate on the designs — hence the “official” part of the name. Officially Pinned was inspired by Disney pin-trading culture.
In July of 2019, FBE partnered with the interactive video company Eko to produce 12-plus interactive TV pilots that consist of scripted and unscripted formats as well as game shows and social-driven experiences with the potential to turn them into full series. Eko and FBE teamed up on the production of “Epic Night,” a four-episode branching-narrative series about a college-party adventure. For the Eko partnership, FBE established an Interactive Content Lab to expand the studio’s interactive storytelling capabilities by developing, funding and shopping new formats.
FBE launched a series titled Kids React on October 16, 2010, the first video being "Kids React to Viral Videos #1 (Double Rainbow, Obama Fail, Twin Rabbits, Snickers Halloween)". The Kids React series features The Fine Brothers, off-camera, showing kids several viral videos or popular YouTubers and having the kids react to the videos.
The series would later lead to spin-offs uploaded on the company's channel, featuring teens, elders, staff, adults (including sub-branches college kids, parents, etc.) and YouTubers. Due to the increasing success of the React franchise, FBE, in collaboration with Nick Cannon, later developed a television series for Nickelodeon, titled React to That. Later on, FBE launched a separate "React" YouTube channel, with additional reaction-related videos, including remixes of past reaction footage and cast members reacting to video games, among other content.
FBE is the creator of MyMusic, a sitcom show funded by YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative. MyMusic features a main ensemble cast of Adam Busch, Chris Clowers, Jack Douglass, Tania Gunadi, Grace Helbig, Lainey Lipson, Jarrett Sleeper, Mychal Thompson and has featured many guest stars, with members of both Kids React and Teens React also appearing. The series has an interactive transmedia aspect, which FBE has spoken on, saying "To us, new media should be 'new' – and just not just a passive experience. The ability to create new storytelling elements and new ways to entertain audiences is what is so motivating about being a creator at this time." The show revolves around MyMusic, a company led by CEO Indie (portrayed by Adam Busch) who is portrayed as a stereotypical modern-day hipster. Another character on the show, Metal (portrayed by Jarrett Sleeper), is based on the brothers' teenage years. "The Metal character comes directly from us when we were teenagers. We were metal heads, full-on," as Fine stated. MyMusic has a separate channel on YouTube from the main FBE channel (MyMusicShow), which had over 381,000 subscribers and 28.9 million video views as of July 7, 2013. MyMusic was nominated for nine Streamy Awards in the 3rd installment of the event, with three of the nominations going to the Fine Brothers. The second season premiered on August 20, 2013.
Other YouTube series
FBE had a popular series where they spoil a variety of topics ranging from books to films to video games. The first episode of their Spoiler series, 100 Movie Spoilers in 5 Minutes – (Movie Endings Ruined), was uploaded on YouTube on November 11, 2008. With over 2.7 million video views as of July 28, 2014, the episode is also the most popular of the series. FBE also uploaded a video containing spoilers of the first seven Harry Potter films in roughly seven minutes on July 13, 2011. FBE spoiled 47 years in roughly 6 minutes of the popular series, Doctor Who, and released subsequent sequels in preparations for the premieres of series 8 & 9 respectively. Other TV shows that have had spoiler videos made about them have included Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Orange Is the New Black. Additionally, FBE put up a video each month spoiling 50 viral videos that have circulated on YouTube and other sources during the previous month.
Lost: What Will Happen Next?
FBE created a show titled Lost: What Will Happen Next?, which is a parody show based on Lost. The show debuted on January 24, 2008, and was the first long-running series on the Fine Brothers channel. The show lasted 19 episodes and ended on November 1, 2010. The show featured several characters from other fictional universes such as the Avatar and Star Wars universe. FBE collaborated with Rhett and Link to create a parody song of Lost as well.
React World controversy
On January 26, 2016, FBE announced that they would license and trademark their existing React series and let creators create their own react series. In particular, FBE applied to trademark, among other terms, the term "react", which is used in the title of numerous other YouTube videos unrelated to FBE's YouTube channel. The announcement was met with backlash from some of their viewers and fellow YouTube content creators, many of whom believed FBE was attempting to prohibit the creation of reaction videos by people unaffiliated with their channel. In response, the company promised that they would "not be trying to take revenue from other types of reaction videos, and will not be copyright-striking." However, other YouTubers reported copyright related takedowns of videos containing FBE footage. There were also reports that another YouTube channel had produced "Seniors React" videos just prior to FBE's "Elders React" series. The backlash led to a dramatic drop in subscribers, with upwards of 675,000 accounts collectively unsubscribing from the React and FBE channels in protest as of February 22, 2016.
On February 1, FBE stated they had rescinded all React trademarks and trademark applications, discontinued the React World program, and released all previous Content ID claims. In addition, FBE removed their original React World announcement video, as well as their update video which addressed the initial backlash.
This is a list of awards, nominations, recognition and achievements received by the Fine Brothers during their career.
|Year||Nominated work||Category||Award-giving body||Result||Ref.|
|2012||Kids React||Best Viral Video Series||39th Daytime Emmy Awards||Won|
|Best Variety Web Series||Inaugural IAWTV Awards||Won|
|2013||Kids React||Best Variety Series||2013 IAWTV Awards||Nominated|
|MyMusic||Best Interactive/Social Media Experience||Nominated|
|Best Supplemental Content||Nominated|
|Kids React||Best Non-Fiction or Reality Series||3rd Streamy Awards||Won|
|Themselves||Audience Choice for Personality of the Year||Nominated|
|MyMusic||Audience Choice for Series of the Year||Nominated|
|Best Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Best Writing: Comedy||Nominated|
|2014||Kids React||Best Directing (Non-Fiction)||2014 IAWTV Awards||Nominated|
|Best Variety Web Series||Won|
|MyMusic||Best Supplemental Content||Nominated|
|2015||Teens React||Show of the Year||2015 Streamy Awards||Nominated|
|Kids and Family||Nominated|
|2016||Elders Gaming||Online Film and Video - Gaming (Channel)||2016 Webby Awards||Won|
|Kids React||Online Film and Video - Reality||Won|
|Fine Brothers Entertainment||Online Film and Video - Entertainment (Channel)||Nominated|
|Do They Know It?||Non-Fiction||2016 Streamy Awards||Nominated|
|Kids React (Daniel Seibert, Jordan Towles, Alyssa Salter, Cara Bomar, Luke Braun, Benny Fine, Rafi Fine)||Editing||Nominated|
|2017||REACT||Show of the Year||2017 Streamy Awards||Nominated|
|Last Moments of Relationships||Immersive||Nominated|
|REACT||Online Film and Video||2017 Webby Awards||Won|
|2018||REACT||Show of the Year||2018 Streamy Awards||Nominated|
|Do They Know It?||Pop Culture||Nominated|
|2019||FBE||Digital Studio of the Year||2019 Digiday Video Awards||Nominated|
|Teens React to Texting and Driving (Distracted Driving) in collab with AT&T It Can Wait||Branded Award for Social Good Campaign||2019 Streamy Brand Awards||Won|