ndependent streaming services might not be on everybody’s radar. They’re underdogs relying on word of mouth to reach new audiences. That’s why we at Youtini are excited to tell you about our new favorite source of comedy shows: Dropout TV.

What Is Dropout?

Dropout is the evolution of what was once CollegeHumor. Once known for comedic sketch videos on YouTube, the company is now making a serious name for itself with talks of possible Emmy nominations and endorsements from some of the biggest names in comedy.

The streaming service started as extra behind-a-paywall content from CollegeHumor. It had shows and skits that weren’t necessarily advertiser-friendly for YouTube. It launched in September 2018 and branded itself as the “TV-MA version of CollegeHumor.”

Image Credit: Dropout Media

These days, CollegeHumor no longer exists, and all content from the company is under the Dropout umbrella. The completely independent platform offers uncensored, ad-free shows with various rotating cast members. Dropout has largely abandoned skits and sketches in favor of unscripted improv. However, CH’s backlog lives on in the platform’s library.

Sam Reich (son of former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich) became Chief Executive Officer of CollegeHumor (and then Dropout) when he bought the company in 2020.

Why People Love Dropout

Dropout has found success, especially in recent years, and continues to grow. One hugely popular aspect of it is its price. The service is only $5.99 a month. Though they plan on raising prices yearly, customers keep paying at the same rate from when they first signed up. This practice keeps viewers loyal to their subscriptions and entices those on the fence to jump in before it’s more expensive.

Fans are also fond of the lack of limits on password sharing. In a world where Netflix won’t even let immediate family members use the same account, this is a refreshing change for those who want to share and experience their favorite content with loved ones.

Dropout also hasn’t abandoned its YouTube audience. The channel is home to many season premieres and full-length episodes of fan-favorite shows. Most shows also have spinoff accounts where multiple clips from every episode are posted in short-form video (shorts, reels, and TikToks), allowing non-subscribers to get a decent taste of what they’re missing. But the peeks are also satisfactory enough for some viewers. This approach creates accessible content while proving that paying for more from the creators is worth it.

Image Credit: Dropout Media via @samreich

The company's independence has allowed for several commendable practices, including shutting down during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike until it was determined to be unstruck work. Dropout also profit-shares with its staff and cast, who are mostly freelancers.

Along with its years-long backlog, Dropout is constantly releasing new episodes and launching entirely new shows, with five new shows announced for 2024.

Dropout has made conscious efforts to create a community around its content. It prioritizes audience interactions by providing countless clips to social media, and it previously hosted live discussions on Discord when new episodes dropped (though, as of this writing, the Discord server has been shut down).

Loyal watchers are also rewarded by becoming familiar with the cast. Many of the platform’s iconic episodes reach that status because of the relationship viewers have already formed with who’s on screen. Parasocial feelings are encouraged because they enhance the viewing experience, not diminish it.

Some of Our Favorite Dropout Comedy Shows

Shows like Dirty Laundry rely on the chemistry between the cast members and the audience’s investment in learning more about them. Though it’s a game show played for points, the jokes, camaraderie, and fellowship keep viewers coming back for more.

The platform’s flagship game show, Game Changer, also amplifies the watching experience by designing games around the personalities of the players. For instance, the episode “Yes or No?” is a fan favorite because it is designed specifically to rile up CollegeHumor veteran Brennan Lee Mulligan, who is known for his competitive nature and enraged monologues.

The company keeps an eye on fan spaces, as evidenced by hiring artist Cait May to create art for the latest season of Dimension 20 Fantasy High: Junior Year. Her fan art from previous seasons gained attention on Instagram and Tumblr. Also notable, musician and fan of the show Sarah Barrios created the theme song for the season. She even filmed the music video on the show’s set.

Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of everything Dropout does, from getting drag queens to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time to creating the first-ever bisexual Bachelor-style episodes. These practices make diverse audiences feel seen, welcome, and included.

The company has a passionate and active fanbase that is always eager to welcome newcomers aboard. Word of mouth has worked for Dropout because fans are enthusiastic about the content, the personalities featured, and the executive practices behind it.

Image Credit: Dropout Media via @VIPeopleShow

On a personal note, the programming simply brings people together. In April 2024, Youtini held an inaugural gathering in Charlotte for staff members from far and wide -- many meeting in person for the first time! While not everyone had heard of Dropout at the time, some of us (including yours truly) were already fans. We shared several episodes of Very Important People, an improv interview show. Since then, several of us on the team have continued to keep up and engage with Dropout content, sharing the journey.

Viewers can always count on Dropout to provide a laugh and offer a home whenever needed. So go ahead and check it out, and then join us in Youtini's Discord where you can find other Dropout fans to share the fun!

Caroline's passion for Star Wars has led her to join the Youtini team as a Content Creator, where she hopes to share her thoughts and insights on Star Wars books, comics, and shows with the community. She is excited to be a part of the team and is ready to help in any way she can, whether it's writing, podcasting, editing, or producing. With her background in digital news production and her love for Star Wars, Caroline is a valuable addition to the Youtini team.