For Your Imagination, known for producing and distributing web shows like Break a Leg, Dad Labs and Kyle Piccolo: Comic Shop Therapist, is announcing later today their new web comedy portal Axis of Comedy. The site brings together eight top web shows with a reported 10 million monthly views combined.
The lineup looks solid, a good mix of style, with only three of the eight coming out of FYI itself. There’s two from Hayden Black: Abigail’s X-Rated Teen Diary and Goodnight Burbank. FYI’s set include Break a Leg, The Patrice Oneal Show and Kyle Piccolo. Rounding it out there’s Dinosaur Diorama’s hipster satire The Burg, along with The Retributioners and Kirby Ferguson’s Goodie Bag TV.
FYI CEO Paul Kontonis will be speaking this afternoon about the new site as part of Digital Day at the New York Television Festival. I caught up with Paul at the conference and he’s excited to have all these shows in one place. While the site is a bit lacking as far as community features, Kontonis sees the portal as an “entry point to the comedy brands and each one has user features on their own destination sites.” So instead of hijacking the interactive experience built up on each site, it’s really more of a place to find shows you might like by association.
While these eight will be the starting lineup, Kontonis says they plan to add more in early 2009. They will be steering clear of one-off videos that clutter up sites like Funny or Die, but may be adding some sketch comedy down the line.
I have to admit, I’m a little unclear of the plan here. The cross-polination benefits of connecting one show’s audience with another could be notable, but that relies on those audiences now coming to the AOC site to watch the shows they are already watching elsewhere. Without building a regularly updating lineup of shows and without any way to interact with the shows at the site, winning over repeat visitors could prove difficult. The spirit of web creators helping each other out is admirable however. We’ll probably see more promo videos like the one above starring the Break a Leg cast, and if they can interact with the other show stars then the audience swapping could work out.