Kevin Hart is taking his talents to the (really) small screen — smartphones.
Hart, in partnership with Lionsgate, debuted Laugh Out Loud, a mobile streaming platform with a slate of original scripted and unscripted comedies, stand-up specials, live broadcasts, licensed programming, and special events. Hart was joined by Snoop Dogg and “Girls Trip’s” Tiffany Haddish, along with the comedic talent associated with Laugh Out Loud for the app’s launch party on Thursday night in Beverly Hills.
Through Laugh Out Loud, which Hart said had been in the works for more than two years, he wants to both represent and unify the comedy experience on a global scale. “The vision was having a place where any and everybody can feel comfortable with coming to laugh,” he said.
Hart isn’t promising he will debut any stand-up specials of his own to stream on the app — but he isn’t ruling it out, either. What he will deliver, however, is original pieces of content led by Hart, himself. “They will fit the mold of what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t want to step out of the direction we’re going in.”
Instead, Lionsgate is focusing more on Hart’s ability to attract audiences. “We’re not pushing Kevin to be on all the time,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said.
In developing his own entertainment platform, Hart said he looked to his friend Jay–Z, who created the subscription-based music streaming service Tidal in 2014.
“The biggest thing that Jay–Z has done in being a businessman is be different. Be bold and go against what people would call the grain,” Hart said. “A lot of people are simply scared to stand out. We’re not, and we won’t be.”
Although other entrepreneurs have failed at attempts in creating similar streaming services in the past, Hart says his has “a different cadence.”
“We’re giving opportunities. We’re searching for the new, the hungry,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve ever had that energy or that insight or have been that artist friendly, and that’s what separates us.”
The Laugh Out Loud app is now available for free on iOS and Android. Users have the option to pay $2.99 per month for ad-free viewing.