Actor and comedian Kevin Hart has a huge social media presence, boasting 32 million followers on Instagram and 27 million followers on Twitter. So it's probably a natural progression that Hart now hopes to leverage those fans in a new way.
Hart is teaming up with Lionsgate on a new over-the-top platform called "Laugh Out Loud," which will feature a number of the comedian's specials as well as a curated selection of original programs and performances by up-and-coming comedy performers. The original programs will possibly include a hidden camera series in which Hart goes undercover as a Lyft driver and a series featuring Vine star Logan Paul.
"Lionsgate has always been a great partner of mine, and I'm more than excited to take our business and creative relationship to new levels," said Hart in a statement announcing the deal. "I understand the direction in which the television business is headed, and I see this big new space toward which audiences are starting to gravitate. I believe that launching this venture together now puts us ahead of the pack."
Jeff Clanagan, who serves as CEO for Lionsgate's Codeblack Films division and has a longstanding business partnership with Hart, has been named president of both Hartbeat Digital and Laugh Out Loud. Said Clanagan: "The Kevin Hart brand speaks for itself, and his combination of creative brilliance and financial acumen position Laugh Out Loud and his social game to continue expanding his global fan base while introducing his comedic genius to a whole new online audience."
This is the third SVOD platform launched by Lionsgate, who has already rolled out the OTT services Tribeca Shortlist and Comic-Con HQ.
As yet, there is no timeline on when the platform might launch or whether it will be advertising or subscription-supported.