Funny Or Die dies
Comedy website axed after 18 months
Funny Or Die is to close its British website, another high-profile casualty in the market for online comedy clips. The site, which launched 18 months ago with the backing of Matt Lucas and David Walliams, will close this Friday. It was a spin-off from the American site, created by comedian Will Ferrell in 2007, and run by Have I Got News For You production company Hat Trick.
The UK site was averaging around 200,000 unique users a month last year, but that proved unviable. It was run by comedy writer James Serafinowicz, brother of Peter, who said: ‘We’ve tried very hard to make it work and everyone has been so supportive.The US team have worked with us very closely and helped us immensely. They really wanted this to work but just with the current climate they couldn't afford to keep on funding it. Everyone is very disappointed.’
Funny Or Die’s closure follows the failure of Comedybox, which was backed by QI creator John Lloyd and Warner Music, and Comedy Demon, run by rights specialists RDF. However, the BBC has just relaunched its comedy website with exclusive clips and more social network-style functions. And Funny or Die’s American parent site has just started making a profit.
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