Media / Startups

These VFA fellows want comedians to get paid for their internet videos

Elisa Meyer and Ariana Ross are building a subscription video platform that gives up-and-coming talents space to create and get found. It's called Actually Good.

Elisa Meyer and Ariana Ross want internet comedy to be Actually Good. (Courtesy photo)

Elisa Meyer and Ariana Ross are looking to find the internet’s next comedy stars, and pay them for their work in the process.
The Venture for America fellows created Actually Good, a platform that’s looking to help comedians get paid while they work out their acts on the web.
Meyer and Ross are Venture for America fellows currently working at tech companies. Ross, currently based in Cincinnati, is a video producer. Meyer, who works by day at Avhana Health, is a longtime dancer who decided not to pursue a professional career after seeing the financial limitations of a career in the arts. On the side, they started talking to content creators about getting started on a platform like YouTube. With most monetization options tied to the amount of views they received, this leads to a cycle where the goal is to create more videos, said Meyer, who is based in Baltimore. It means some talented creators may get overlooked and fall short when it comes to getting paid.
“They need a way to get paid beforehand and test out ideas,” Meyer said.
Along with helping creators with small-but-loyal followings, such a system could also have the effect of creating better quality videos since they will have the ability to pursue some of their most creative ideas, Meyer and Ross reasoned.
Actually Good looks to provide that place through a subscription video platform. Initially, Meyer and Ross are looking to work with comedians. Rather than replacing YouTube, Meyer said they look at it as more of a “residency.” The startup doubles as a production company that will provide a budget and help comedians crate new videos.
They’ve had some help getting started, as VFA encourages side hustles through its Validation Challenge, which provides guidance and a chance to pitch. Now the cofounders are vying in VFA’s Innovation Fund and raising money through Indiegogo. The crowdfunding competition also includes guidance from VFA’s team on starting and building a business.

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