Internet comedy was once a place reserved for accidental humor that just happened to be "caught on tape." Today, major players from the comedic stage and television are interested in how they can cash in on the growing trend of Internet humor.
Despite millions upon millions of views, revenue from YouTube is minimal. While some of the largest operations are able to re-seed money from YouTube views into production costs, most shops see YouTube as a tool to share content, rather than a source of income.
So, how then do you utilize YouTube most effectively? Here are three tips:
1. Ensure that your content is sharable. For many production companies, content is able to serve as its own marketing tool, minimizing overhead costs. Mickey Meyer, co-founder of the YouTube comedy channel, Jash, told Splitsider: “What we have at the center of Jash is a community. A community of like-minded comedians and channels that can cross-promote and send audience back and forth.”
2. Partner with bigger fish. Getting to the point where content can effectively market itself is not easy. Some studios are incubated by larger video production studios, others, like Above Average, are partnered with theaters or comedy schools such as Upright Citizens Brigade.
3. Develop your own talent. When competition is this steep, it makes sense for many companies to maintain their own talent incubator. Mitch Galbraith, COO and president of digital at Funny or Die, told Splitsider that "Funny or Die has become a platform for up-and-coming talent to hone their craft and work their way up to bigger and better projects. We've become one of the main ways a talented, funny person can build a career.”
At the end of the day, nobody knows what impact the Internet will have on comedy in a traditional sense. Todd Bieber, Creative Director at UCB Comedy, was quoted as saying, “I don’t know what [the future] is going to be, but I know it’s going to change everything.”