NEW YORK MTV-owned Atom Films, a broadband entertainment network that showcases original films, animation and series created by independent artists, has morphed into a digital comedy network called Atom.com to distribute original programming across Internet, mobile and TV platforms.
In the process, Atom.com becomes Comedy Central’s exclusive partner. The new site is tasked with developing new properties for multiplatform distribution, building an online community of creative minds and producing a half-hour series, Atom TV, for Comedy Central.
“If we get this right, Atom.com will be our punk-rock label and help to bring fresh, provocative comedy to every screen our audience is watching,” said Erik Flanagan, evp, digital media at MTVN Entertainment Group.
The site hosts professionally produced content as well as vetted user-generated fare. Shows include Stickman Exodus, which involves stick figures doodled into existence by a bored high school student searching for the “promised page.” Another series Benny, Escaped Convict, which follows the exploits of a foulmouthed rodent on the lam. In terms of UGC, Atom.com hosts a weekly competition for user videos: “Upload Showdown.” Winners gain a site promotion, distribution and licensing contract with royalty payments through Atom.com’s revenue sharing program. Additionally, the content has the potential to be viewed on “Atom TV” and Comedy Central.
Scott Roesch, general manager of Atom.com, emphasized the tie to that established cable net: “We can work convergently for the first time. There are obviously a lot of TV-driven convergent sales, but we think having an online sponsorship that has an on-air extension in an interesting angle.
Verizon Wireless is the launch sponsor. It owns the overlay ads for the first week, though some of its multi-platform sponsorship will remain until early August.