CollegeHumor Officially Changes Name to Dropout in Rebranding

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CollegeHumor is dropping its collegiate moniker after nearly 25 years… to become Dropout.

The company is officially rebranding from CollegeHumor to Dropout, the name of the ad-free, subscription streaming platform it launched in 2018. CollegeHumor was founded in 1999 by Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen — back in the days before the streaming revolution — and gained traction as a free, ad-supported comedy website.

Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp acquired CollegeHumor in 2006. Then in January 2020, IAC laid off more than 100 staffers at CollegeHumor and sold a majority stake in CH Media, parent company of CollegeHumor and Dropout to Sam Reich (pictured above), who was the company’s chief creative officer at the time.

In a video about the rebranding (watch below), Reich, now the company’s CEO, says he wasn’t sure Dropout would make it to its second year. “I won’t lie to you — I was scared. Scared that the company I spent my whole adult life trying to build was gonna fall apart,” he says, thanking Dropout’s subscribers and staffers for keeping the company going.

Tuesday (Sept. 26) marks the fifth anniversary of Dropout’s launch. “So, to commemorate what is a huge milestone in the life of CollegeHumor… we’re going to kill it,” Reich explains, before smashing a laptop emblazoned with the CollegeHumor logo with a sledgehammer. “Rest in peace, CollegeHumor — we’re Dropout now,” Reich says. Abramson and Van Veen then appear in a video on the laptop to give Reich their official blessing to let the name go and begin a new chapter as Dropout. (Van Veen left CollegeHumor in 2016 to join Facebook and since then has served as Meta’s VP of global creative strategy.)

Dropout’s subscription costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year. Reich declined to specify how many subscribers the service has, but he said “we’re in the mid-hundreds of thousands and growing.”

“Five years ago, we ‘dropped out’ of traditional media and went direct to our fans. We could never have imagined how meaningfully it would transform our business,” Reich said in a statement provided to Variety. “It has resulted in the healthiest, most creative and most exciting version of the company to date. I stand shoulder to shoulder with our extraordinary talent, crew and staff as we leave ‘college’ behind and continue to forge our own path. Turns out, this isn’t just a gap year.”

Dropout hosts more than 75 “uncensored” original series, which are a mix of short- and long-form programming. The lineup includes “Dimension 20,” “Game Changer,” “Make Some Noise,” “Um, Actually…,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Play It by Ear” and “Breaking News.” The service is available on the web and via apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and Samsung smart TVs.

CollegeHumor’s website shut down in 2020 but the brand has maintained an official YouTube channel, which has 14.7 million subscribers. According to Reich, the CollegeHumor YouTube channel also will be renamed Dropout. Sketch videos with CollegeHumor branding will remain on the channel “as a nod to that specific period in our history,” and they will also continue to live on the Dropout platform, Reich said. “Our intention is to honor all that the CollegeHumor name brought us, while letting Dropout take center stage with current show clips, [YouTube] Shorts and episodes available to stream for free.”

Watch Reich’s video about rebranding CollegeHumor to Dropout:

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