If you have ever dreamed of pursuing a career in comedy but have been put off by the sheer volume of others trying to break into the biz, coupled with the fact that if you are a woman and/or from a BAME background, and worried that your chances of “making it” are devastatingly low, you are not alone!
Set up in 2019, by Jon Jayson, Peter Wright and Omar Nasar, three friends who know exactly how hard it can be to break into the industry, Comedy Crowd TV is a platform aiming to change that.
With a community of over 8000 independent creators, the platform calls on “the crowd” to discover the new and best talent and who should be spotlighted.
“Traditional studios work with a handful of creators, which means only a handful of new ideas and hoping that past success will lead to future hits,” says Jon Jayson the platform’s CEO.
“At Comedy Crowd TV we work with over 8000 creators and growing, crowdsourcing the best content and discovering exciting new talent, first.”
Jon says that he and his co-founders have seen first hand the challenges facing the seemingly closed shop industry that is comedy — with just a handful of already famous faces being given all of the new opportunities.
Jon references a quote from author and business executive Seth Godin:
“The old systems, the ones where just a few people were anointed to be the chosen authors, chosen contributors, chosen musicians — that system left a lot of people out in the cold.
The new open systems embrace waste. They understand that most people wont contribute and some contributions wont be any good. But that’s fine, because this openness means that the previously unfounded star now gets found.”
The CEO says that this is exactly how Comedy Crowd TV works and stories like that of Michael Spicer, prove that. Spicer has been making quality comedy for years but was never given his big break.
That was until Boris Johnson started talking about what he did in his free time, and Spicer had the ingenious idea to play the role of the man in The Room Next Door, feeding Boris what to say and filming it with his iPhone.
Thanks to the power of “the Crowd” Spicer went viral and now he is making big moves, getting millions of views and working with The Comedy Crowd team on an exclusive new series.
For creators like Chiedozie Offiah, the mastermind behind Gangland Chicken Shop Wars and Shirley & Shirley, the foul-mouthed Australian ex-pats behind Aussie Girls, the fight to be seen and heard is even tougher!
“Effectively opening up opportunities for comedy talent from ALL backgrounds is fundamental to our mission,” says Jon.
“The numbers of female creators remain woefully short of male creators and BAME representation in professional comedy writing is tragically low.
We hope to help to fix this imbalance as we believe Comedy Crowd TV’s genuinely inclusive approach of working with the crowd gives everyone the opportunity to create.”
The platform, which is currently raising £140k in SEIS funds, plans to work with distribution partners and high profile creators with the aim of going mainstream and becoming the go-to hub for comedy lovers and the prime acquisition target for major channels, production companies and media businesses.
They are already working with connections like ITV, C4 and Dave comedy commissioners and have been publicly recommended by the BBC.
Comedy Crowd TV is also live on MX Player – the streaming app owned by Times India with 350M+ users in the subcontinent
When the money is raised, Jon says they plan to use the funds in three ways — £60k to invest in exciting new content, £60k to promote it and £20k to improve and enhance the platform’s user experience.
Jon says the opportunity for Comedy Crowd is huge. Subscription video on demand is a rapidly growing market, estimated to reach $40bn by 2022 and more channels than ever are looking to spend millions on original content.
At the same time habits are changing as people watch more on-demand content on smaller devices rather than TV screens, opening opportunities for businesses such as Telco’s and transport services to showcase video content to audiences.
All of which means there is a huge and growing demand for original content with a proven audience, an opportunity that Jon, Omar and Peter believe they are uniquely placed to exploit with a channel discovering and showcasing the best new talent first.