The Atlantic launches its first TV and film projects on Peacock

Atlantic Ocean It is pushing aggressively towards film and television projects as part of its broader licensing revenue drive.

why does it matter: CEO Nicholas Thompson said the company, which expects to lose nearly $10 million again this year, needs to build another source of income to continue its path toward profitability.

  • He said, “One of our goals is to build a great third source of revenue beyond subscriptions and ads. Obviously, an affiliate IP is one of the places you can get it, so it’s a big focus.”

News leadership: The company is launching its first two TV and film projects: “Shadowland,” a six-part documentary series, which premieres on Peacock and at The Atlantic Festival on September 21, and “Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power,” a feature-length documentary, will be available on Peacock in early 2023.

  • “Shadowland,” featuring journalists from The Atlantic, is based on an editorial series in The Atlantic about conspiracy theories and the threat they pose to democracy. Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power It is about voting activism in the 1960s.
  • Both projects were co-produced with third-party filmmakers based on The Atlantic: RadicalMedia reporting for “Shadowland” and a co-creator for “Lowndes”.
  • The Atlantic also has a written mini-series in development on Showtime, based on his work Undocumented Agent from 2020.
  • Other projects in development are based on both articles and podcasts from The Atlantic, including an animated feature film.

details: Thompson said the company has more than a dozen other projects based on The Atlantic’s IP (intellectual property) or in production.

  • The company hired Creative Artists Agency in 2020 to represent its IP deals. Linzee Troubh was hired in 2019 to lead the full-time effort at The Atlantic.
  • In an effort to build more projects, The Atlantic recently opened His archive is completely online for the first time. “So, 29,000 new stories, ideally, each one could be chosen,” Thompson said.

be clever: Many publishers tend to trade or affiliate programs as a third form of revenue along with advertising and subscriptions. But Thompson said licensing is the best editorial fit for the 165-year-old director.

  • I find it hard to imagine that we would love to license our brand to admire a hotel chain.” Thompson joked. “None of that is happening.”
  • “It was a lot [focused] On things really related to journalism. ​​ “We only license our intellectual property when something that comes out of it looks like it’s the same type as our journalism.”

Between the lines: In addition to its film and television projects, The Atlantic also licenses out its intellectual property for books and experiences.

  • Next year, The Atlantic will launch its own book imprint, Atlantic Editions, in partnership with independent publisher Zando. Six Atlantic author titles have been announced so far.
  • In May, The Atlantic created a similar museum Exhibition In Downtown Los Angeles, sponsored by MasterCard, inspired by an Atlantic editorial series called Who owns America’s wilderness?

recovery: It has been more than two years since The Atlantic, facing the headwinds of the pandemic, laid off nearly 20% of its staff (68 people) and stare $20 million losses.

  • Today, the company has a total of 360 employees, nearly two dozen more than it did before the layoffs due to the pandemic.
  • “Openingly, we’re very much in the process of growing,” said Adrienne LaFrance, executive editor of The Atlantic. Currently, the company has 14 roles open, including several senior editorial positions, such as features editor and global editor.

In numbers: The Atlantic has nearly 843,000 subscriptions across digital and print media, per Thompson, up from 830,000 this time last year. Nearly half (388,000) of these subscriptions are digital only.

  • The figure includes 843,000 print magazines sold on newsstands and digital subscriptions sold through The Atlantic’s partnership with Apple News. About 750,000 subscriptions are sold directly to consumers.
  • The vast majority (about 90%) of The Atlantic’s revenue currently comes from advertising and subscriptions.
  • This year’s revenue breakdown will include a near-equal split between advertising and consumer revenue, which will be The Atlantic’s first since launching its digital subscription service in 2019.

The Big Picture: Licensing has become a greater business opportunity for premium publishers such as Fox Media and the The New York Times Amidst the increasing demand of banners for new content.

what do you want to watch: In the future, Thompson said, The Atlantic could experiment with other types of revenue streams, such as subscriptions for children or international licensing partnerships.

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