As always, Comedy Central Digital’s goal in 2020 was to maximize video views and watch time by publishing super funny and shareable content. When the pandemic hit in March, we remained focused on the creation of a variety of video content that would hit those goals, as well as satisfy company-wide initiatives and any confirmed and potential sponsorships. Additionally, a goal of ours in 2020 was to make diversity and inclusion both an immediate and long-term priority. We focused on spotlighting diverse voices and stories in the archive/show content we published as well as in new original videos we created.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented comedy and this year Comedy Central answered the call, from The Daily Show being the first late night show to pivot into remote production on and offline to making the most of our vast library to keep stand-up in the feeds and brains of our fans in a year starving for live comedy. Across platforms, we also helped to promote safety guidelines at the height of the pandemic with #AloneTogether and pushed fans to get out and vote with our Vote Naked campaign. As a result, our accounts grew on every platform: From Instagram, where we experimented with Stories, IGTV and Reels, to TikTok, where follower numbers doubled and then tripled over 2020, to YouTube, where we repurposes our archive content into compilations and livestreams and reached 10 million followers by the end of the year. Through it all we made content that was scroll-stopping, relatable, culturally relevant, and, above all, funny.
Comedy Central’s 2020 social performance exceeded our goals and showed strong YOY growth despite all the challenges the year brought. Our content brought in over 9.3 billion video views, over 20 billion watch time minutes, and over 285 million engagements (the most of any entertainment cable network*). Our social creative team pivoted quickly and effectively in response to the pandemic, producing over 150 pieces of original video content since March, most of it shot remotely from home. Several brand new, original series were created entirely from scratch, including My Beautiful Bunker, Stir Crazy with Josh Horowitz, Confinement Confessions, and more. For those original series, we worked with diverse talent ranging from A-list celebrities like Keegan Michael-Key and Alexandra Daddario to popular digital creators like Adam Waheed and Quenlin Blackwell.
The Daily Show had a particularly strong year on digital, earning 4.2 billion views (the most of any late-night show*), 200M engagements (the most in the TV universe*), and 11M new followers (also the most in the TV universe*). Clips from the remotely-shot “Daily Social Distancing Show” have earned tens of millions of views across platforms, while timely content and jokes about current events continue to go mega-viral.
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