Marlon Wayans’ ‘Urban’ Funny or Die Wants to Work with YouTubers

/ Feb 14, 2014

wayans

Last June, comedian Marlon Wayans and Funny or Die co-founder Randy Adams announced plans for WhatTheFunny.com, a new comedy video website aimed at urban audiences. The site launched quietly in November and since then has accumulated more than 1 million uniques — which makes it as good a time as any to officially unveil the platform and business.

As Wayans explained to The Hollywood Reporter last year, the goal of WhatTheFunny.com is to be the “In Living Color” of web video, if Randy Adams’ other project, Funny or Die, serves as the web’s “Saturday Night Live.” To that end, the team behind the site want to work with top urban stars and online creators to develop short-form original series.

So far, content on the site features the likes of Damon Wayans, Jr. and Omar Epps, with a cameo from former NFL loudmouth Terrell Owens in a Bud Light parody video.

Wayans and Adams aren’t going into this venture blind, either. Recognizing the value of the YouTube creator community, and the issues they face in terms of making money, WTF Studios, the company behind the site, is looking to work with a variety of YouTube stars to bring more original content to the website. So far, WTF has a partnership with YouTuber Todrick Hall, whose channel has more than other 690,000 subscribers. Other YouTube talent partnered with WTF include the likes of J. Snow and Top Rope Zeus.

“YouTube is a great way for emerging artists to garner an audience, but a very difficult place to build a sustainable business,” Adams told Deadline. “We are helping YouTube artists actually make money by sharing higher advertising revenue with them and giving them and off-YouTube destination for their content.”

In total, the site has “more than a dozen” original series and 160 episodes in development.

Down the road, the plan is to build other distribution points for WhatTheFunny.com, including a native app on mobile devices as well as syndication partnerships and deals to get on TV — not dissimilar to what Funny or Die is doing at the moment.

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