In a brave move by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and their gang, Funny or Die has finally moved its content to YouTube. The FunnyorDie website has always had an identity-crisis. It certainly wasn’t a sage financially-driven move, but a fantastic creative outlet for spontaneous and risque comedy by Ferrell, McKay and friends.
It was a bold moment where the actors and writers stood before the public — without layers of intermediaries muting their brilliance. Could Hollywood have produced Pearl The Landlord? The most epic star-created viral video ever (and interestingly not appearing on the YouTube FunnyorDie channel).
Then other stars jumped on the bandwagon. While the site was rarely “top of mind” even for comedy enthusiasts, every few months something would draw us all back for a reunion. In the spaces between, there were dips in recurring traffic despite some great star-powered comedy. Furthermore the site wasn’t sure if it was a pet project, a consumer-generated content play, or a mini television studio. It was, in fact, all of that.
A partnership with YouTube will now give the team a recurring audience, which takes the pressure off the “hot viral” clips that would remind us FunnyorDie.com exists. And it will most likely drive more traffic to FunnyorDie than the site would get otherwise (especially if the team is smart about how it teases content is keeps exclusively on FunnyorDie). I’m not sure I’d advise the CollegeHumor approach of posting content 1 month prior on its own site. Instead, I’d post best-of content and occasionally have Ferrell talk to his subscribers about what’s new in his life and on FunnyorDie.
Remember, FunnyorDie… the most popular and most-subscribed YouTube channels aren’t networks as much as people. Give Ferrell or McKay a Flipcam once a week and post weird unedited stuff…. then you’re sitting on traffic gold you can monetize on YouTube and back on FunnyorDie.
Here’s what I find most interesting and maybe concerning to the FOD folks. Despite a significant push by YouTube (featured ‘n spotlighted videos), we’re seeing only 20K subscribers to date. Compare that to the nearly 500K subscribers TheStation picked up in just weeks (due to its already popular YouTube “star” cast promoting it). TheStation picked up 20K in about 45 seconds.
Here’s where the “blatant self promotion” comes in (it’s disclaimed in the damned masthead, people). I first established a Nalts FunnyorDie account I wrote Will Ferrell a note naively thinking he might write back. Well here’s an open public invite, Mr. Ferrell. I will promote the living crap out of “Funny or Die” on YouTube to my 150,000 plus subscribers. Just let me meet you for 7 minutes and get some footage. We’ll do a collaboration, which is the fastest way to get a loyal for you to pick up a loyal YouTube following (see my free eBook “How to Become Popular on YouTube Without Any Talent” to learn more). After these 7 minutes or up, I’d like you to scream at me to leave. And I will.
I’m serious. A Nalts Will Ferrell collaboration. I’ll meet you anywhere, sir… New York anytime. In San Bruno during Thanksgiving. Toronto next week. You make me proud to be a middle-aged guy with a spare tire. I just want to bite your arm. Not a flesh-piercing bite. More like a gentle but awkward nibble. It won’t hurt.