Above Average, the digital comedy studio formed by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, has raised $15 million in funding from Turner Broadcasting and Advance Vixeid Partners, the independent investment arm of Advance Publications and Conde Nast.
Above Average, which launched in 2012, produces web series and content — with a good portion of it featuring talent from Broadway Video’s flagship franchise, “Saturday Night Live” for NBC.
“While digital-first with a talent-first philosophy, we are both a publisher and a studio creating premium smart comedy for talent, audiences and brands,” said Jennifer Danielson, president of Above Average. “This funding further validates our efforts and productions, and we’re excited about the new opportunities for growth it provides.”
Productions from Above Average include “Alec Baldwin’s Love Ride” (pictured above), featuring the actor providing relationship advice to guests in a New York City cab; “Sound Advice” with “SNL” cast member Vanessa Bayer playing an image consultant to musicians; “Seven Minutes in Heaven”; “Hudson Valley Ballers”; and “Everyone’s Upstairs Neighbors.” Its content is distributed across multiple platforms, including YouTube, NBCUniversal’s Seeso, Vessel and Google Play.
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In addition, Above Average has launched The Kicker, a sports comedy online destination from Bryan Tucker, co-head writer of “SNL,” and it also produces branded content for advertisers.
Above Average is led by Danielson, who began working at Broadway Video in 2001. Other key execs include Marc Lieberman, VP of biz dev, who formerly worked for the Onion in the same capacity, and director of development Josh Poole, who before joining the company in 2012 worked in production and development at MTV.
Above Average, which has a staff of about 60, is based in New York. Its tagline is “The Internet’s last hope for comedy,” with competitors including Funny Or Die, the Onion, College Humor and Turner’s recently relaunched Super Deluxe. The venture’s funding was first reported by Recode.