“Making internet videos is challenging,” explains CollegeHumor’s CCO Sam Reich in a 2018 video entitled “How the Internet Is Ruining Comedy.” “Mostly because it pays d***, and d*** doesn’t pay for internet videos.” Reich encapsulates a problem that has plagued mega-comedy channels on YouTube and other social media platforms in recent years— shaky revenue sources that prevent creators from doing what they do best: comedy. Unfortunately, it is a dire problem for the company he worked for and now owns— CollegeHumor.
Yesterday, CH Media’s parent company InterActiveCorp (IAC) ceased financing the humor-website-turned-major-company, resulting in over 100 layoffs that left only five to ten people working in CH Media’s Dorkly, Drawfee, and CollegeHumor brands. It is a massive blow to a company that has long been one of the staple sources of comedy on YouTube and Facebook.
Founded by Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen in 1999, CollegeHumor’s popularity exploded after it was acquired by IAC in 2006 and started to release video content on YouTube. The channel is responsible for many of the viral sensations of the 2010s like “Jake and Amir,” “If Google Was a Guy,” and “The Problem with Jeggings.” CollegeHumor alumni have gone on to work for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and Saturday Night Live.