Kevin Hart (via his company, Hartbeat Digital) and Lionsgate studios have teamed up to launch a new video-on-demand (VOD) service called Laugh Out Loud, among other ventures in a deal that will see the two collaborate in multiple areas also including a new social adventure mobile tablet game, and other mutually-beneficial initiatives.
The new Laugh Out Loud service will serve as the exclusive home for all content created by Hart, including original series starring Hart, except for his theatrical releases and live touring events.
One of the first projects being developed is a hidden camera original series in which Hart stars as an undercover Lyft driver.
The VOD platform will also showcase content curated by Hart along with shows featuring social media stars and up and coming comedians, including a series starring social media phenomenon Logan Paul, the most viewed content creator on Facebook (300 million video views last month) and Vine (nearly 4 billion loops).
The deal will also bring in game developer Fifth Journey to create a social adventure mobile game starring and written in collaboration with Hart. Players become comedic rock stars with Hart as their mentor, embarking on adventures that include touring the country, starring in movies, hosting award shows and more. Game choices, mini-games and features will incorporate Hart’s trademark humor and emphasize positivity.
"Lionsgate has always been a great partner of mine, and I’m more than excited to take our business and creative relationship to new levels," said Hart. "I understand the direction in which the television business is headed, and I see this big new space toward which audiences are starting to gravitate. I believe that launching this venture together now puts us ahead of the pack."
"Kevin is one of the biggest stars in the world, and we’re proud to kick off our partnership with a new OTT platform as well as a mobile game, extending a collaboration that began with the film ‘Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain’," said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. "He is an incredibly versatile talent who will bring his unique comedic voice to Laugh Out Loud’s entire spectrum of original content, and his ever-expanding global fan base gives both initiatives tremendous growth potential. Nobody understands how to continue extending Kevin’s brand better than Jeff Clanagan, and we’re pleased that he will lead the new platform’s growth."
Codeblack CEO Jeff Clanagan, who has served as Hart’s business partner for the past 10 years, has been named President of the new service as well as President of Hart’s company, Hartbeat Digital.
"During his rise to global superstardom, Kevin has not only emerged as a singular and visionary talent but as an incredibly successful entrepreneur with tremendous business instincts that match his prodigious creative skills," said Clanagan. "The Kevin Hart brand speaks for itself, and his combination of creative brilliance and financial acumen position Laugh Out Loud and his social game to continue expanding his global fan base while introducing his comedic genius to a whole new online audience."
The new platform joins a growing suite of Lionsgate video-on-demand services featuring branded, targeted content for affinity audiences including Tribeca ShortList, which launched last fall in partnership with Tribeca Enterprises, and Comic-Con HQ, which debuts this summer in partnership with Comic-Con International.