Kerry Taylor, ViacomCBS Networks International’s executive vice president of entertainment and youth brands, reported a 164% increase in video views on their social platforms through August. There was also viewership growth in linear Comedy Central channels. Comedy Central in the UK reported a 5% increase in viewership, Poland 3% and Spain 8%.
Taylor said their strategy during the pandemic was to find global formats that can be rolled out in local markets and amplify local voices. The second strategy was to use Comedy Central platforms to celebrate and nurture emerging talents. Another strategy was to focus on diversity because of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Comedy Central provided comedians from diverse backgrounds and experiences a platform to share their stories. Some of the successful shows are Dragony Aunts with 1.1 million video views to date, Comedy Central UK’s Rosie Tries to Help with more than 3 million views and Comedy Central Africa’s CC Seen It that featured content by female comics. In addition, Comedy Central has also approved a digital version of Drink History called Drunk Black History. The show will feature inspiring stories of trailblazing Black figures and accounts of important events for the Black community.
The pandemic also forced Comedy Central to create a global format for Comedians in Quarantine. It featured more than 100 comedians in 12 countries and 109 languages. To date, it has 12.2 social video views. Another successful format was Comedians Solve World Problems where comedians discuss hot issues such as gender identity, racism and sexism.