The Rise of Meme Marketing: Q&A with IMGN Media CEO Barak Shragai

In just over 3 years, 29 year-old CEO Barak Shragai has built IMGN - a modern media business that reaches 30M followers and 2B monthly views, largely on Instagram and Snapchat.

Their editorial playbook solves one of the most painful challenges for today’s brands and publishers, the traditional friction between content and audience. IMGN brands speak ‘natively’ to their young audiences, in the same way those audiences speak to their friends.

The channels use next-gen formats such as memes, short-form videos, gifs and animations that define internet trends, feature multicultural perspectives and drive buzz around pop culture news. IMGN channels Daquan and Try Hard are gearing up for their premium video content debuts with original series slated for premiere this year.

After raising $6M in funding, IMGN is now programming 24-7 editorial for 10 brands, producing over 5K pieces of content monthly with a team of 30 multicultural Gen Z editors.

In addition, Shragai has turned IMGN into a profitable business, expecting to exceed 350% year-over-year gross revenue growth in 2018. The IMGN team has partnered with leading advertisers including Microsoft, Netflix and EA.

Brand Storytelling interviewed IMGN CEO Barak Shragai to learn more about how he’s capitalizing on working with brands and enabling them to ride the rise of meme marketing:

What does the partnership process look like on IMGN's end when you work with brands?

We are very fortunate that due to the viral nature of our content, we have brands reaching out to us for IMGN to create and distribute branded content for them. Some brands have a more traditional RFP process, but many are very nimble and look to us for pretty substantial campaigns to be executed in 24 hours.

The media you produce largely targets a specific group - Gen Z and others who interact with culture content on Instagram and Snapchat. How does that affect what brands you’re willing/able to work with and vice versa?