Cracked.com is both an online procrastinator’s nightmare and happy place.
Let’s say you’re a new media journalist writing a story about Major League Gaming (this is a random example I obviously came up with out of thin air) and you stumble across this article about the 6 Most Ominous Trends in Video Games while doing your due diligence. Before you know it, you’re a half liter of Mountain Dew deep, 90 minutes past your deadline, totally stoked to know that Uncle Phil voiced Shredder in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, totally scared of adorable grasshopper mice, and totally still going to read those other articles about R-rated scenes in classic kid flicks, inspiring acts of kindness by crime syndicates, and vehicles for the nauseatingly rich.
Once you have your fill of Cracked’s irreverent and surprisingly well researched articles (I say that because of all the heat Demand Media – Cracked.com’s parent company – has taken lately for its approach to article research), you may even hang around the domain to catch a video or two.
The humor website and only lasting iteration of the long since defunct Cracked magazine launched the third season of its Streamy Award-winning original web series Agents of Cracked last week. Here’s a look:
Created by Michael Swaim, Daniel O’Brien, and Abe Epperson, Agents of Cracked was Cracked’s first online original series. The program takes viewers into the not entirely safe for work workplace inhabited by the employees of Cracked. Sophomoric in-office and after hours hijinks ensue enticing at least 7 million viewers to tune into Seasons 1 and 2.
In addition to Agents of Cracked, Cracked.com has slate full of series looking to take advantage of the site’s 19.5+ million monthly visitors. “We currently have six original video series either live or in production,” Oren Katzeff, VP & GM of Cracked.com, Demand Media told me over e-mail. “Agents of Cracked, After Hours, and Cracked Advice Board are currently live, while 8 Bits, Stuff That Must Happened and new episodes of Does Not Compute are currently in production. We are also ramping our production to include one to two original one-off videos per week.”
That doesn’t put Cracked.com at the production level of say, a Funny or Die or CollegeHumor (which pumps out 30 or so original videos a week), but it definitely shows an increased interest by Cracked in online video creation. If Katzeff and company stay interested and keep increasing output, Cracked could become a major player in the online video space. The site certainly has the viewership, now it just needs a critical mass of quality content to make it a destination for viewing online videos in addition to textual procrastination.