The Atlantic launches first TV and film projects on Peacock
The Atlantic is pushing aggressively into movie and TV initiatives as a part of a wider licensing income push.
Why it issues: The corporate, which expects to lose roughly $10 million once more this yr, must construct one other income stream to proceed on its path to profitability, CEO Nicholas Thompson informed Axios.
- “Considered one of our goals is to construct out a 3rd substantial income stream past subscriptions and promoting,” he stated. “Affiliate IP is clearly one place you would get that, so it is a important focus.”
Driving the information: The corporate is launching its first two TV and movie initiatives: “Shadowland,” a six-part docu-series, is premiering on Peacock and at The Atlantic Competition on Sept. 21, and “Lowndes County and the Highway to Black Energy,” a feature-length documentary, can be obtainable on Peacock in early 2023.
- “Shadowland,” which options The Atlantic’s journalists, relies on an Atlantic editorial sequence about conspiracy theories and the menace they pose to democracy. “Lowndes County and the Highway to Black Energy” is about voting activism within the Sixties.
- Each initiatives have been co-produced with third-party filmmakers primarily based on The Atlantic’s reporting: RadicalMedia for “Shadowland” and Participant for “Lowndes.”
- The Atlantic additionally has a scripted miniseries in improvement at Showtime, impressed by its piece The Undocumented Agent from 2020.
- Different initiatives in improvement are primarily based on each articles and podcasts from The Atlantic, together with an animated characteristic movie.
Particulars: Thompson stated the corporate has greater than 12 different initiatives primarily based on The Atlantic’s IP (mental property) optioned or within the manufacturing section.
- The corporate employed the Inventive Artists Company in 2020 to characterize its IP offers. It employed Linzee Troubh in 2019 to guide the hassle full-time at The Atlantic.
- In a bid to construct extra initiatives, The Atlantic lately opened its complete archive on-line for the primary time. “So, 29,000 new tales that, ideally, each single one in all them might get optioned,” Thompson stated.
Be sensible: Many publishers are leaning into commerce or affiliate packages as a 3rd type of income alongside adverts and subscriptions. However Thompson stated licensing is a greater editorial match for the 165-year-old outlet.
- “I discover it laborious to think about us like licensing our model to love a lodge chain.” Thomson joked. “None of that is occurring.”
- “It has been very a lot [focused] on issues which might be actually tied into the journalism,” he stated. “We’re solely licensing our IP when the factor that comes out of it feels prefer it’s of the identical variety as our journalism.”
Between the traces: Along with movie and TV initiatives, The Atlantic can also be licensing its IP for books and experiences.
- Subsequent yr, The Atlantic will launch its personal ebook imprint referred to as “Atlantic Editions” in partnership with unbiased writer Zando. Six titles from Atlantic authors have been introduced to date.
- In Could, The Atlantic created a museum-like exhibition in downtown Los Angeles, sponsored by Mastercard, that was impressed by an Atlantic editorial sequence referred to as Who Owns America’s Wilderness?
Flashback: It’s been greater than two years since The Atlantic, going through pandemic headwinds, laid off almost 20% of its employees (68 folks) and stared down $20 million losses.
- Right now, the corporate has 360 whole staff, almost two dozen greater than it had earlier than the pandemic-driven layoffs.
- “Editorially, we’re very a lot in development mode,” stated Adrienne LaFrance, government editor of The Atlantic. At the moment, the corporate has 14 open roles, together with a number of senior editorial positions, like a options editor and a worldwide editor.
By the numbers: The Atlantic has roughly 843,000 subscriptions throughout digital and print, per Thompson, up from 830,000 this time final yr. Practically half of these subscriptions (388,000) are digital-only.
- The 843,000 quantity consists of print magazines offered throughout bodily newsstands and digital subscriptions offered by means of The Atlantic’s partnership with Apple Information. Round 750,000 subscriptions are offered on to shoppers.
- The overwhelming majority (round 90%) of The Atlantic’s income at present comes from promoting and subscriptions.
- This yr’s income breakdown will embrace a near-even break up between promoting and shopper income, which can be a primary for The Atlantic since launching its digital subscription service in 2019.
The large image: Licensing has develop into an even bigger enterprise alternative for premium publishers like Vox Media and the New York Instances amid elevated demand from streamers for brand spanking new content material.
What to look at: Sooner or later, The Atlantic might experiment with different forms of income streams, like subscriptions for youths or worldwide licensing partnerships, Thompson stated.