A neutron walks into a bar, orders a beer, drinks it, then asks the bartender how much it costs. The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”
All joking aside, the internet truly is an easy and welcome source for humor. But while there are various apps and platforms that provide fun, light humor through memes and user-generated videos, Comedy.com, a new mobile app designed for high-quality, short-form comedy videos, is focusing on high-quality storytelling that caters to millennials’ sense of humor and makes fun of everyday aspects of life – relationships, digital lifestyle, work, and family.
Co-founded in 2015 by a pair of Israelis, Barak Shragai and Dor Mizrahi, the startup just launched its free app on both iOS and Android. The launch comes on the heels of the announcement that the company has raised $1.5 million from Rhodium, 2B Angels, Sandler Investments, NXTP Labs, as well as a group of video veterans such as Dean Valentine (former CEO of UPN), Nishkaam Mehta (head of mobile growth at Hulu), Rajesh Sawhney (founding president of Reliance Entertainment) and Douglas Cohen (Data Scientist at Facebook). Monetization plans for the app – such as premium services and paid subscriptions – are to be finalized later this year.
Building a comedy community
Comedy.com is building an extensive network where comedy creators can come together and create original videos. Instead of allowing just anyone to upload comedy content on the platform, Comedy.com chooses to work directly with a hand-picked group of engaging comedy creators, and aide each one in overcoming the challenges of creating professional comedy video clips. In exchange, Comedy.com gets exclusive access to the videos they produce, raising the level of content on the app. The startup has partnered with up-and-coming comedy creators who accumulate tens of millions of views each month on social media, including Woody The Great, Curtis Lepore, Juhahn Jones and JoJoe, to name a few.
The company also helps aspiring comedy creators gain access to the tools necessary for making quality comedy videos. Comedy.com connects creators with production teams that include directors and video technicians, to boost the videos’ quality. By working directly with the talent, Comedy.com can maximize distribution for creators while at the same time assuring that all videos uploaded to the platform are of the highest quality.
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The Comedy.com app offers a new and fun place to “binge-watch” comedy videos while also providing many new features that separate it from other video platforms. These features include an “LOL” button which allows users to express their favorite moments in each video in real time. This enables Comedy.com to pinpoint the funniest seconds in each video, learn patterns, and make sure to promote the most engaging videos that are included in the library.
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Curating the most engaging videos
The company’s unique algorithm learns users’ sense of humor based on their interactions within the app. Each time the app is launched, users receive a personalized feed of clips tailored to their specific comedy style. The algorithm also screens and identifies the most engaging comedy creators online. In addition, in-house content editors constantly curate Comedy.com’s extensive video library, picking and uploading the most relevant and trending videos on the Web.
Comedy.com founders see their true competitors as popular comedy-themed sites and services such as iFunny, Vine, Comedy Central, and Funny or Die. Their real challenge, however, is how to compete against the huge amount of funny videos that are already on social networks such as Facebook. Company officials tell NoCamels that the difference between Comedy.com and other “funny apps” is that the others are driven by users, while Comedy.com is driven by talent and is designed to serve young comedy lovers, and respond to their unique humor and desire for interactive, social experiences.
Connecting through humor
Comedy.com is part of the emerging vertical video wave – videos shot on a mobile phone in portrait mode and are best viewed on smartphones – which includes companies like MiTu, TasteMade, and Twitch. “Comedy.com is about connecting friends, families and peers through humor,” co-founder Barak Shragai said in a statement. “We empower the next generation of comedy stars and reach millennials seeking short-form comedy wherever they are. Millennials define comedy as their most important video category.”
In other words, millennials take their comedy very seriously.