Seeso ser­vice to shut down

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Ryan Faugh­n­der ryan.faugh­n­der@la­times.com

Com­edy stream­ing ser­vice Seeso, launched less than two years ago, is clos­ing.

The com­edy stream­ing ser­vice Seeso is cut­ting off the mic af­ter less than two years of strug­gling to break into the crowded video-on­de­mand mar­ket.

“We’re writ­ing to let you know that later this year, Seeso will be shut­ting its com­edy doors,” the com­pany said in a post on its Face­book page.

Com­cast Corp.’s NB­CU­ni­ver­sal launched Seeso at the be­gin­ning of 2016, of­fer­ing com­edy orig­i­nals, standup videos and li­brary con­tent for $3.99 a month.

But de­spite ma­te­rial from pop­u­lar com­edy per­son­al­i­ties in­clud­ing Dan Har­mon and Jonah Ray, clas­sic bits from Monty Python and next-day streams of NBC late-night pro­gram­ming, the sub­scrip­tion ser­vice never took off.

Some of Seeso’s shows — in­clud­ing “Har­monQuest,” “My Brother, My Brother and Me,” “Hid­den Amer­ica With Jonah Ray” and “The Cyanide and Hap­pi­ness Show” — will live on, mov­ing to the on­line video app VRV, Seeso said.

There have long been signs of strain at Seeso, which went through lay­offs this sum­mer. Evan Shapiro, the NB­CU­ni­ver­sal ex­ec­u­tive who launched the site, left the com­pany in May. NB­CU­ni­ver­sal did not say how many still work at Seeso.

In the last sev­eral years, Hol­ly­wood and Sil­i­con Val­ley have launched stream­ing ser­vices to tar­get nar­row au­di­ences of young view­ers who don’t want to pay for a full ca­ble TV bun­dle. There’s Shud­der for hor­ror afi­ciona­dos and Crunchy­roll for anime fans, for ex­am­ple.

Last week, movie stu­dio Lion­s­gate and comic Kevin Hart held a Bev­erly Hills gala to launch their com­edy app Laugh Out Loud.

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