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Kevin Hart’s streaming service is no laughing matter

by Will Corry on August 18, 2017 in Entertainment, Gamification, Latest News, Laughter spot, Laughter Spot, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets

Kevin Hart’s streaming service is no laughing matter

“I’m not here to talk about how I’m the highest-grossing comedian of all time…” began Kevin Hart, standing on stage in the back garden of a lavish Beverly Hills mansion before an audience of hundreds.

“Or how I’m a best-selling author, or how I have my own line of Nike sneakers”, he continued. Instead, the world’s highest-paid funny man was there to talk about his latest business venture: Laugh Out Loud.

Laugh Out Loud is a joint network venture with Lionsgate Entertainment, and what Hart has dubbed as “the future of funny”. Currently consisting of a mobile app that streams on-demand comedy content, Laugh Out Loud is drawing comparisons to Netflix and rather unfortunately, Tidal, Jay Z’s dubious attempt to tap into the music streaming marketplace.

If the concept of a comedy platform sounds familiar, it’s because it is. NBC has recently tried to do something similar with Seeso, a platform that was riddled with problems from the start. If one of the largest TV networks in the U.S. has tried and failed in this area, how will Hart succeed?

Well, firstly it’s Kevin Hart. If there was ever a man that encompassed dogged determination and the star quality needed to pull absolutely anything off with charmingly self-aware audacity, it’s him. Known for being a poker enthusiast, Hart made yet another savvy business move earlier this year and joined forces with global brand PokerStars to “make poker fun again”.

He then wasted no time setting about this goal and in June was pitted head-to-head against the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, in the PokerStars Game On Challenge. Kevin Hart is more than a comedian doing business, he is a business. His brand’s reach and appeal are staggering, generating a cool $87.5 million in 2016 and placing him at the top of Forbes’ highest-paid comedians list — dethroning the veritable institution that is Jerry Seinfeld in the process.

There’s a reason why he’s in the position he’s in and it isn’t just because of his comedy skills, Hart is adept at brand management, largely avoiding conflict and scandal and ensuring his routines remain just inside the line of what’s acceptable.

Secondly, the app itself features a good range of comedy content even at these early stages. As well as content from Hart, the app streams all seven seasons of the classic HBO series Def Comedy Jam, featuring the likes of Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence, and Chris Tucker amongst others. Then there’s the lesser known and aspiring names, such as King Bach and GloZell, the likes of whom are the driving force behind the creation of Laugh Out Loud: “We’re giving opportunities.

We’re searching for the new, the hungry.” For up and coming comedians, Hart sees it as their “clear-cut destination” and is sure that his venture will succeed where others before have failed: “I don’t think they’ve ever had that energy or that insight or have been that artist friendly, and that’s what separates us.”

The Laugh Out Loud app is currently available for free download on the Android and iPhone. A premium, ad-free version is also available for a $2.99 monthly subscription. Check it out!

 

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