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Shots Studios, Inc. is an American entertainment company, production studio, and talent management firm. They also operate as a record label under Universal Music Group. The company was founded in 2009 as a software development company by brothers John Shahidi and Sam Shahidi in Los Angeles, CA. Originally named Rock Software, they began as a mobile gaming company producing games for athletes, including Chad Johnson, Mike Tyson, and Cristiano Ronaldo.[citation needed] With the help of investors like Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather, the company went on to launch the Shots mobile app, popular among teens for its selfie format and anti-bullying focus.[citation needed] Beginning in 2015, the company began partnerships with numerous internet creators to produce original digital content, soon after rebranding as Shots Studios.

Shots Studios, Inc.
  • RockLive, Inc. (2011–2014)
  • Shots Studios, Inc. (2014–Present)
FoundedMarch 17, 2011; 8 years ago (2011-03-17)
Key people
  • John Shahidi
  • Sam Shahidi

The company is home to musicians and internet personalities including Anwar Jibawi, Hannah Stocking, Lele Pons, Rudy Mancuso, Alesso, Anitta, Juanpa Zurita and Delaney Glazer. The group is also collectively known as The Shots Family.


Company HistoryEdit

Rock Software: 2009 - 2011Edit

The company launched as Rock Software in 2009 by brothers John and Sam Shahidi in Southern California. They started as a mobile gaming company focused on iOS and Android apps, with its first commercial release being RunPee, an app which gives users the best time to use the restroom during a movie. Through a mutual friend on the Cincinnati Bengals, the Shahidi brothers met star wide receiver Chad Ochocinco which led to a partnership and creation of two apps, the Chad Ochocinco Experience and MadChad.[1]

Rocklive: 2011 - 2013Edit

During this time the company continued to grow and rebranded as Rocklive. They expanded their focus on mobile gaming apps and created apps for celebrities and athletes including Mike Tyson, Usain Bolt, and Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2011, the company launched a video game called Mike Tyson's Main Event.[citation needed] Across their various platforms, Rocklive saw more than 3 million active users.[2]

Shots Mobile: 2013 - 2015Edit

In 2013 the company began moving away from mobile games and working on a new social media app. Rebranding as Shots Mobile, with a large investment from Justin Bieber earlier that year, they released the Shots app on November 12th 2013. The app was a selfie picture sharing app with a focus on anti-bullying. [3] Other investors include Floyd Mayweather, King Bach, Marlon Wayans, Omar Epps, Shervin Pishevar, Ben Parr, WI Harper, Upfront Ventures and DCM Ventures. This led to the move of the company headquarters to San Francisco.

After Twitter CEO Anthony Noto accidentally tweeted a message about an acquisition for Twitter, a source close to the company confirmed that Twitter was looking to acquire Shots for $150 million.[4][5][6] CEO John Shahidi stated to Fox News that the company was not for sale at the time.[7]

By 2015 the Shots app had over 7 million active users.[8] During this time, the company began partnering with digital content creators like Rudy Mancuso to explore delivering original content to its users. This led to the development of the Awkward Puppets series.

Shots Studios: 2015 - presentEdit

Shots Mobile renamed to Shots Studios and became a full time digital studio in 2016.[6][9] After the companies transition to digital entertainment, the Shots app was removed from the App Store (iOS) in 2016.[10]

In 2016, Shots Studios partnered with Mike Tyson to launch a YouTube channel with the boxer.[11] The channel includes parody music videos and comedy sketches.[12] The company also began managing and launching channels with other internet creators including Anwar Jibawi, Hannah Stocking, Lele Pons, and Rudy Mancuso.

On April 20, 2016 it was announced that Shots Studios had purchased the music app Mindie.[13]

Shots Studios produced Vai Anitta, a Netflix original docu-series that follows the company's Brazilian artist.

Shots Studios creators Pons, Mancuso, Jibawi, and Stocking were all featured in the 2017 and 2018 YouTube Rewind.

Shots Studios ProductionEdit

In October 2015, the company launched Awkward Puppets, an original show in partnership with comedian and internet star Rudy Mancuso.[14][15]

In 2016, Shots Studios launched YouTube channels with internet stars Lele Pons, Rudy Mancuso, Hannah Stocking and Anwar Jibawi.[16]

As of August 2017, Shots Studios channels generate over 60 million daily views with an average watch-through rate of 80%.[12]

It was announced in July 2018 that Netflix partnered with Shots Studios to produce a 6 episode docu-series on Brazilian pop star, Anitta. The series, titled Vai Anitta, was released on November 16, 2018 exclusively on Netflix. [17]

The company unveiled vertically produced shows for Instagram's IGTV and a YouTube channel dedicated to their vertical content. [18] [19]

Shots Studios artists have also partnered up with companies like Sprint, AXE, Madden, and FIFA to create branded content.

Shots Studios MusicEdit

In July 2017, Shots Studios signed Brazilian singer Anitta.[20] On September 3, she released her seductive first English-language single, "Will I See You", a collaboration with a Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Poo Bear. The video had over 10 million views in its first two days on YouTube.[21] On October 13, Anitta released her second song in English, "Is That For Me", in collaboration with Swedish DJ Alesso. This video also had more than 10 million views in its first two days on YouTube.[citation needed]

Investor Justin Bieber invited Rudy Mancuso to be the opening act for the Purpose World Tour in March 2017.[22]

In September 2017, Shots Studios signed Alesso, a Swedish DJ and producer.[23][24]

In March 2018, Billboard named Shots Studios one of Dance music's "Internationalists," a company that is "leading dance music's global expansion."[25] John and Sam Shahidi were named to Billboard's Latin Power Players list for their and their artists' success in the Spanish-speaking market in November 2018.[26]

Shots Studios formed Shots Studios Music in August 2018 in partnership with Universal Music Group. The first releases included Celoso by Lele Pons and Remedy by Alesso. [27] [28] [29]

The music videos for both Celoso by Lele Pons and Remedy by Alesso were produced by the company and directed by Shots Studios talent, Rudy Mancuso. [30]

In September 2018, Anitta's collaboration with J Balvin "Downtown" was nominated for the Latin GRAMMY's "Best Urban Song."[31]

In late November, Alesso released "Tilted Towers," a collaborative project with Fortnite streamer Ninja which debuted live on the gamer's Twitch stream.[32]


  1. ^ Carr, Austin (2010-08-24). "How Mike Tyson and Chad Ochocinco Made the Ballsiest App on the Planet". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  2. ^ "RockLive and Olympian Usain Bolt Release Addictive Mobile Game With the Help of Celebrity Friends". Pando. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  3. ^ "Justin Bieber-backed photo app Shots gave up on selfies and now manages internet stars". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  4. ^ Cwalinski, Kristin (25 November 2014). "Twitter has talked to Bieber-backed Shots: Source". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2017-12-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b Josh Constine, Katie Roof (6 October 2016). "Shots Studios rebrands from selfie app to social star video factory". TechCrunch. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  7. ^ Roof, Katie (25 November 2014). "CEO of Shots 'Not Focused on Selling'". Retrieved 28 December 2017.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Wagner, Kurt. "A-List Investors, 1 Million Downloads: Is Selfie App 'Shots' For Real?". Mashable. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  9. ^ Alex Kantrowitz (6 October 2016). "Justin Bieber-Backed Shots Prioritizes Making Video For Other Platforms". BuzzFeedNews. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  10. ^ Wagner, Kurt (2016-10-30). "Justin Bieber-backed photo app Shots gave up on selfies and now manages internet stars". Recode. Retrieved 2019-01-25.
  11. ^ "Mike Tyson Records Diss Track ... 'Thoulja's Going Down!' (AUDIO)". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b Todd Spangler (February 24, 2017). "Mike Tyson, YouTube Comedy Star? Ex-Boxer Joins Shots Studios' Creator Network". variety. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  13. ^ Constine, Josh. "Shots acquires Mindie to build a teen video app empire". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  14. ^ Constine, Josh. "More Than A Selfie App, Shots Produces Original Videos With Puppets (And Bieber)". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  15. ^ Madeline Berg (December 7, 2016). "How Shots Studios Wants To Use Data To Create The Next Digital Star". forbes. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Inverso, Emily. "21st Century Funny: How Bart Baker, John Shahidi And The Fine Brothers Make It Big". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ David Rishty (July 30, 2017). "Brazilian Singer Anitta Signs With Shots Studios for Management: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  21. ^ Matt Medved (Sep 4, 2017). "Anitta Celebrates Poo Bear's Birthday With New Single 'Will I See You'". Billboard. Retrieved Sep 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "The Online and Offline Success of Rudy Mancuso". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  23. ^ Matt Medved , David Rishty (September 5, 2017). "Swedish Star Alesso Signs With Shots Studios for Management: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Kat Bein (September 7, 2017). "Alesso Teases Tropical 'Let Me Go' With Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  25. ^ "The Internationalists: Five Companies Leading Dance Music's Global Expansion". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  26. ^ "2018 Latin Power Players List Revealed". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "THE LATIN ACADEMY OF RECORDING ARTS & SCIENCES, INC. 19th Latin GRAMMY® Awards FINAL NOMINATIONS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-09-20.
  32. ^ "alesso tilted towers - Google Search". Retrieved 2018-12-28.

External linksEdit