Pop Culture Site Movie Pilot Rebrands, Giving More Power to the Fans

With a new crop of community-driven verticals

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Putting fans first has always been at the core of Movie Pilot's business.

To date, the pop culture site (which features content created by both fans and journalists) regularly sees over 15 million unique users each month and reaches over 32 million engaged fans over social media. But as Movie Pilot attracted a bigger audience over the years, the conversations started to stray away from just movies. 

That's where Creators Media comes in. The new parent company will introduce niche sites dedicated to specific topics that fans are passionate enough about to create content for, such as mixed martial arts or video games.

Movie Pilot recognized the power of fan contributions and conversations early on, with fans creating incredibly detailed digital websites and magazines, or "fanzines," focused on those interests. 

Two of the new niche sites, Champions and Now Loading were released in May, and have so far received 1.5 million and 2.5 million unique visitors each month, respectively.


"The launch of Creators Media is the logical next step for us, as we follow our passionate creatorsmedia.co community, who have helped lead the way in identifying new publishing opportunities," said CEO Tobi Bauckhage. "We are committed to building a portfolio of media brands that allow millennials and Generation Z to have a voice, discover and engage—and are incredibly grateful to serve our loyal fan community and partners."

"Since 2012, we've built one of the biggest entertainment websites and online magazines in the U.S.," Bauckhage told Adweek, "to a large extent powered by our very passionate and highly engaged community of 50,000 creators and fans."

"We believe it's time to follow their calling and empower them to create more verticals, articles, digital magazines and video series together with us," he said.

In addition to fan-submitted content from tens of thousands of people, the Movie Pilot/Creators Media team also has a staff of over 120 people in Los Angeles and in Berlin to create more than 500 articles and videos each day.

Brands have also tapped into the direct relationship Movie Pilot has seen with its engaged readers and creators: Hulu and its Beatles-centric documentary teamed up with Movie Pilot to create one-of-a-kind videos and live experiences for fans of The Beatles; Focus Features, which produced the movie Kubo and the Two Strings, actually worked with the team to produce a gorgeous physical fanzine to honor the artistic style of the animated movie.

"If a brand is seeking to engage with their audience in a meaningful and authentic way, we are open for business," said Bauckhage. "We've left the niche of movies and TV shows, but will expand our offering to create impactful fan activations, highly effective content campaigns, as well as fresh and engaging events beyond our initial focus."

Creators Media will be built by "fans, influencers, professionals and seasoned journalists alike."

"Early next year, we will launch our first Creators Academy, a free online curriculum for pop culture enthusiasts and hobby journalists, that teaches the basics of online writing, audience building and visual storytelling," said Bauckhage.

"Many more of these Creators Academies will follow with topics like online marketing, social video storytelling, social commerce and crowdfunding," he said. "And last but not least: for our verified creators, we offer a very fair revenue share model."

With this rebranding, the creators are put front and center, where they deserve to be. 

@samimain sami.main@adweek.com Sami Main is social editor for Adweek, where she posts Adweek content onto social platforms and looks for creative ways to communicate what's new.