Lampooning the Writers Strike

By Staff Published on .

Production: National Lampoon’s Web video efforts are part of the brand’s effort to evolve from the original humor magazine and movies such as “Animal House,” “Vacation” and “Van Wilder” into a new medium. Sketch comedy bits like “Fat Guy Nation,” and “Muses Guild of America on Strike” are part of the group’s menu of content. The team is comprised of editor in chief Scott Rubin plus three other full time writers-actors. The National Lampoon team also brings on part-time help as needed and works with Los Angeles-area sketch troops. The full-time staff imply fixed costs that some other Web video content creators avoid. But the National Lampoon team also has advantages, such as a set in their offices with technologies including green screens that give them more flexibility to shoot scenes than some other groups don't have. The full time staff also gives’s team the ability to create sketch bits on the fly, keeping current with pieces such as “Muses.”

Result: National Lampoon is selling advertising on a cost-per-thousand viewer basis. On, those ads go for about $50-$60 CPM, said Zach Posner, VP corporate development at National Lampoon. The group also has launched the National Lampoon video network, which syndicates content to Web sites with higher traffic, including YouTube, Joost, Yahoo and others. The outside deals work on a revenue-sharing model, or minimum guarantees, and carry lower CPMs, Posner said. The revenue trend for National Lampoon’s Web video efforts has been positive, with sales increasing about 90 percent year-over-year. Posner said National Lampoon is looking to develop more sponsorship arrangements to wring revenue from the content. Across all the sites that carry’s Web video content, comScore estimates that 5.1 million unique visitors checked out the content.

-Greg Baumann is carrying on the tradition of the brand's sketch comedy with efforts such as "Muses Guild of America on Strike."

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