Veeps, the streaming platform founded by Joel and Benji Madden, is expanding its reach to include a comedy vertical featuring new specials from superstars like David Cross, Brad Williams, Katherine Ryan, and Reggie Watts.
The Live Nation Entertainment-affiliated company will also be the exclusive streaming home for select sets from SF Sketchfest’s 21st edition in early 2024.
Since 2018, Veeps has streamed performances to millions of viewers worldwide for artists including Billie Eilish, Bob Dylan, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and thousands more, with the content available on Veeps.com and via apps on Apple TV, Roku, iOS and Android. In October, the company announced the launch of Veeps All Access, a subscription model affording unlimited access to livestream and on-demand content, which also incudes Madden’s music interview podcast-turned-talk series “Artist Friendly” and the upcoming “Cribs”-esque show “Sidehustles.” The comedy vertical will be available via Veeps All Access or audiences can purchases tickets to individual specials.
Industry veteran Bart Coleman will oversee the vertical as the head of comedy.
“People around the world love to laugh, even if they’re not able to attend their favorite shows in-person as much as they’d like to and I’m honored to be playing a role in bringing the comedic performances we all love direct to fans in their homes,” stated Coleman. “Veeps is unique in that it offers a premium viewing experience, a lot of artistic flexibility and we’re high touch in helping artists bring their unfiltered creative vision to life and connecting them with a community of viewers globally — in my opinion it’s a much-needed, fresh approach when it comes to broadcasting comedy content.”
Coleman joins the company from Moment, where he ran stand-up specials and podcast events, including the platform’s highest performing special, Andrew Schulz’s “Infamous.” Prior to that, he served as Spotify Studios’ comedy lead, overseeing podcasts like “Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith,” “The Sketch Factor with Fred Armisen” and “An Oral History of The Office” and worked for Comedy Central as director of talent and an independent producer, with credits including “The Burn with Jeff Ross,” “The Jeselnik Offensive,” “John Oliver’s New York Stand-up,” “Not Safe with Nikki Glaser” and 600 episodes of “@midnight.”
At Veeps, Coleman will work closely with Geof Wills, Live Nation’s president of comedy, who said, “It’s exciting to see Veeps’ investment in comedy and the hiring of Bart. This expansion will help comics reach audiences in entirely new and different ways than what has traditionally been done before.”
As a press release notes, the partnership between Veeps and LiveNation serves as a value add for the comedians Wills’ team is already booking and also opens up distribution opportunities through Ticketmaster partners like Meta, Spotify and TikTok.
The current line-up of comedy specials that will be exclusively available on Veeps (free to All Access subscribers or via a paid ticket to individual shows) includes: David Cross: “Worst Daddy in the World,” airing Nov. 27; Brad Williams: “Starfish,” airing Dec. 21; Katherine Ryan: “Missus,” airing Nov. 17; Reggie Watts’ latest special, due in early 2024; Mo Welch: “Dad Jokes” docuspecial, release TBD; Blair Socci: “Live from the Big Dog,” airing Dec. 1; multiple sets from SF Sketchfest, airing Jan-Feb, 2024; Pod Meets World: “The Kids Wanna Jump!” event and Jessi Cruickshan’s upcoming special, coming in early 2024.
Full information on featured comedians and upcoming specials, as well as ticketing details, is available on Veeps.com.
“The team has been very artist friendly and given me the freedom to present the show in the exact way it was intended,” said Williams, whose special was announced last week. “Anyone can join an already successful platform, but it’s extra inspiring to know that I’m a part of something that many people are saying will be an industry game-changer.”
Crafting an “artist-friendly” experience has been the M.O. for the Maddens since they first began developing the idea for Veeps more than a decade ago.
The vision was simple, Joel Madden tells Variety: “We really felt like live streaming — especially around music, concerts, comedy and live events like that, that are happening every day around the globe — was the future of live entertainment. Being there live is a magical experience that that only a few of us get to witness, but the access is going to be something that fans come to expect.”
So they took notes from the rise of streamers like Netflix and ESPN+ to create an affordable, premium experience for fans across the globe to experience their favorite acts live, then developed the subscription-based model with All Access. “It’s always been the vision that live-streaming is going to continue to evolve and become a part of our entertainment diet and what we consume,” he adds.