From “Game Changer” to Name Changer
CollegeHumor launched their streaming service Dropout in 2018. Five successful years later, the company is celebrating this milestone with a full rebranding.
The Fall of CollegeHumor
CollegeHumor was originally created by Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen in 1999. It began as a comedy website mainly targeted towards college students. The site’s nerdy and occasionally raunchy humor gained traction with a large audience. This eventually led to CollegeHumor being purchased by InterActiveCorp (IAC).
With backing from a larger company, CollegeHumor was able to expand its brand. One website developed into a popular YouTube channel, a novelty clothing brand, and multiple cable television shows. However, as the 2010s progressed, CollegeHumor’s popularity dropped off, and so too did its profitability. IAC attempted a restructuring of the company. More than 100 employees had been laid off by 2020, and IAC decided to cut their losses by selling a majority share of CollegeHumor to the site’s chief creative officer, Sam Reich.
The Rise of Dropout
After their original website shut down, CollegeHumor took their content in a new direction under Reich’s leadership. They prioritized their newly-created streaming platform Dropout, and the company increasingly diversified the media they were creating. Instead of the sketch comedy that CollegeHumor was known for, Dropout became home to unscripted series like Dimension 20, Game Changer, Dirty Laundry, and Um, Actually. Thanks to talented comedians on the platform — including Brennan Lee Mulligan, Ally Beardsley, Lily Du, and more — and a new focus on progressive comedy, Dropout’s fan base grew beyond Reich’s expectations.
In a Threads post about the company’s recent switch-up, Sam Reich said, “CollegeHumor’s original cast — including me —was a bunch of nerd types making fun of frat types. It was also predominantly white, straight, and male. Eventually, when we ran out of frat jokes, the content became truer to ourselves: nerdier.” Reich expanded upon this in a following post, stating, “As [the original] cast moved on and a new cast moved in, CollegeHumor became more diverse and inclusive. We grew up. Our values changed. The content became not just nerdy, but also thoughtful, progressive, and innovative.”
The Big Rebranding
In celebration of their streaming service’s fifth anniversary, Sam Reich revealed that CollegeHumor would fully rename itself to Dropout. The decision was made to distance the company from the CollegeHumor legacy. Reich’s thought process was that, “[The name] didn’t represent us anymore, hadn’t for years, attracted the wrong audience, and repelled the right one.” While the CollegeHumor YouTube channel will remain intact, all future content will take on the Dropout branding in order to stay in line with the identity the company has adhered to since 2018.
CollegeHumor Official Name Changing Announcement