Home Break Media: Funny Videos Formula Still Works

Break Media: Funny Videos Formula Still Works

People who think that ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ is a media phenomenon that peaked in the television era, may be disappointed to know that the same formula is becoming increasingly popular on the Web. As of July 2009, Break Media was ranked the 35th most popular site in the U.S. – one year ago it wasn’t in the top 50. Break.com is an entertainment destination focused on “Funny Videos & Funny Pictures” (the company’s words). It targets a young male audience and makes no bones about going for the lowest common denominator.

Some of the other big movers over the past year in comScore’s top 50 web properties in the U.S. list have been Demand Media at #36 and Answers.com at #26.

A scan of the Break Media homepage headlines as of writing tells you all you need to know about the content on this site: ‘Eight Perfect Pogostick Backflips,’ ‘Mexico Versus Uruguay Basketball Fight,’ ‘Kid Hit in the Face by Field Goal Kick,’ ‘iPhone Commercial for Ex-Boyfriends,’ ‘Human Head Turntables and Drums,’ … you get the picture.

I checked out a couple of videos from the site, purely for research purposes of course. And while I wasn’t game to watch the one where a gymnast “snaps neck on dismount,” (!!) I did watch and enjoy this one about a sports reporter in Prague dealing with drunken fans:

It doesn’t take an in-depth analysis to figure out the appeal of Break Media – it’s entertaining, generally funny and not to be taken seriously at all. So it’s no surprise that Break Media is becoming one of America’s most popular websites. The appeal for viewers is very similar to that of YouTube – and look how that turned out.

As well as a large monthly audience of 23.5 million unique users, Break Media has ‘stickiness.’ Break Media cites [PDF] a comScore report stating that viewers spend an average of 3.3 minutes watching a video, which the company claims is above average for video sites.

Other than the flagship break.com, Break Media owns a range of niche sites targeted to men; including Cage Potato, MadeMan, Chickipedia, Holy Taco, Screen Junkies and All Left Turns.

Is Break Media the future of Web entertainment? We sure hope not, but you can’t argue against its general appeal as a place to go to waste some time… and that Prague sports reporter video was funny!

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