From YouTube to TikTok, ‘AFV’ Embraces Emerging Platforms to Stay on Top at 30

Variety | 12/7/2019 | Rob Owen
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Even as technology caught up to ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” the 30-year-old clip show found a way to co-exist with online viral videos.

“We’ve worked with YouTube and Snapchat and other platforms to embrace how we can utilize what we do and what they do,” says “AFV” creator Vin Di Bona.

AFV - Showcase - Videos - Guys - Groins

Since it began in 1989, “AFV” has been a showcase for funny videos — guys getting hit in their groins, wigs falling off, pranks caught on tape, pets getting into mischief — with each episode’s most-liked videos, as judged by the show’s studio audience, winning cash prizes.

“AFV” survived the dawn of YouTube and the existential threat it posed to the TV show by looking at such platforms as potential partners, rather than challenges. “The public loves it,” says Di Bona.

Years - Di - Bona - Adjustment - YouTube

This started about seven years ago, although Di Bona admits it was an adjustment. When he first learned of YouTube — while watching a CBS News report — it looked not only like a competitor but also a thief. Out of the six clip examples on that news package, “four of them were from my show,” he recalls. “I went nuts. I was perturbed. For the next two to three years we kept saying, ‘We have to combat this, we have to protect our IP.’ We had stuff taken down when that was pretty next-to-impossible.”

However, the attitude soon shifted to “if-you-can’t-beat-em, join-em,” says Lisa Black, executive vice president of content, revenue and business development at Vin Di Bona Prods.

Black - Company - AFV - Online - Presence

Black arrived at the company in 2012, when she says the official “AFV” online presence was limited to a Facebook page. Her background in digital media at Telepictures helped “AFV” embrace the increasingly digital world.

“I really couldn’t believe they were sitting on this gold mine of viral video and not exploiting it,” Black...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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