IAC/InterActiveCorp has begun its push into community-focused online content with the acquisition of a controlling interest in the parent company of CollegeHumor.com.
IAC will hold a 51 percent stake in Connected Ventures, with full voting control. Founders Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen will retain the remaining 49 percent. Besides CollegeHumor, Connected Ventures runs e-commerce site Busted Tees, along with a few smaller content sites targeting the same young adult demographic.
CollegeHumor offers videos, pictures, articles and jokes to a core audience of college students and recent graduates. The site features several rich media ads and text links on its homepage and category pages, which it sells through an internal ad sales team. The site attracts more than six million monthly unique users, according to Nielsen Site Census.
Past site sponsors include General Motors, DreamWorks Motion Pictures, Sony Motion Pictures, AT&T Wireless, Comedy Central and RCA Records.
CollegeHumor becomes the first site to join IAC Programming, which launched earlier this year with a goal of buying and building branded online content properties centered around communities. The programming group launched in January, when IAC named Michael Jackson as president of programming. Jackson previously served under IAC chairman Barry Diller as chairman of Universal Television Group, and as CEO of the U.K.’s Channel Four.
"With its distinct brand of humor, CollegeHumor has emerged as a viral success with an enormously loyal audience among young adults," Jackson said in a statement. "The founders have done an outstanding job of growing the business by appealing to a well-defined audience with a consistent voice and sensibility. Their entrepreneurial spirit is a welcome addition to IAC's Programming efforts, and we look forward to working with them to drive growth of CollegeHumor as well as other opportunities."
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
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