When Funny Or Die launched in April 2007 — a startup co-founded by Will Ferrell — it enjoyed an early-mover advantage in jumping on the wave of socially-shared video. Today, it sports 1.7 million Facebook fans and 3.8 million Twitter followers who help contribute to the site’s 6 million unique users and 60+ million video views per month.
Those numbers — and Funny or Die’s creative track record — has led to a minority investment from Turner Broadcasting, part of a strategic partnership announced today spanning content and sales.
For starters, Turner’s digital sales force will serve as the exclusive seller of advertising opportunities with Funny Or Die. The two have already been working together on the creative side of the business, and now Turner (which includes TBS and Adult Swim) will partner on content across multiple platforms, including television, mobile and tablets. “We’re investing in Funny Or Die because we can take their great content and give it a wider audience through the incredible reach of TBS,” said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. “TBS and Funny Or Die will give people a laugh anywhere, anytime and on any device.”
“We’re thrilled by our acquisition of Turner,” said Adam McKay, co-founder of Funny Or Die. “We’re now taking a long hard look at Viacom. These are heady days over here at Funny Or Die.”
Ah yes, they live up to the funny in the company’s name. And it doesn’t hurt that funny stuff is a huge driver in social media sharing: Funny or Die’s Twitter account, for example, is the largest in the comedy space. And its Facebook presence also has the help of Will Ferrell’s Facebook page (4.1 million) for the occasional boost. In many ways, Funny or Die will help “socialize” Turner Broadcasting, as well.
“While we are incredibly excited about how this partnership will catalyze our growth and make Funny Or Die an even better place for comedic talent, we are even more excited about the opportunities this will open up to brands and advertisers to create far-reaching, hilariously funny cross-platform content and messaging,” said Dick Glover, president and CEO of Funny Or Die. “TBS, Adult Swim, Turner Digital Sales and the rest of the Turner organization are a fantastic fit with us in all ways. Plus, we are instantly gaining an even larger sales staff, something it would take us years to develop. This is very cool.”
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