‘Mobile is the main screen’: Group Nine lays out video plans for Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker at NewFront

Group Nine CEO Ben Lerer kicked off the company’s first NewFront for Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo & Seeker in NYC tonight. He explained the fact that “more than 50% of video is consumed on mobile” and described that their content offerings have the most engagement and are at “television scale.” They have 96 million social engagements every month.

Group Nine has taken their brands and transformed them from budding publishers into video powerhouses that are working with major talent, investigative journalists and technology. Here’s the full announcement from the presentation.

NowThis:

  • Award-winning former Vice & CNN Correspondent Kaj Larsen joins NowThis as Sr. Correspondent, responsible for creating and producing both short-form and longer-form news and docu-series, many of which he will host. One of his first episodic series will focus on the intersection of sports and politics.
  • Her Stories (Timing: This Year) – A 10-episode series focused on profiling unknown women doing extraordinary and empowering things, breaking boundaries and crushing stereotypes.
  • lNowThis Sports (Timing: Fall) – NowThis Sports is launching this fall and looking for a flagship launch partner. NowThis Sports isn’t about scores — it’s about the stories behind the athletes and how sports intersects with NowThis’ core issues. NowThis Sports will partner with EuroSport (the exclusive European home for the Olympics 2018-2024) as an official content partner in Europe.

 

The Dodo:

  • Animal Heroes (Timing: This Year) – A multi-platform program (short, mid and linear series) telling the stories of people who are going above and beyond for animals.
  • Best (Dog) Day Ever (Timing: Summer) – Mid-form, 12-episode weekly series about adoptable rescue dogs finding their forever families.
  • VR Programming (Timing: Late 2017) – The Dodo will begin programming VR content later this year. “Animal Eye View” will be a mid-form virtual reality series from an animal’s perspective with a focus on stunning footage and emotional narratives.
  • Little Dodo (Timing: This Year) – Launching an entirely new sub-brand for kids. Little Dodo offers a fresh take on animal content for preschool-aged kids and will live across several platforms and lengths.

Seeker:

  • The Edge (Timing: Q3) – Following the extremely popular mission to send a VR camera to space with the Webby Award-wining Edge of Space, Seeker’s newest series will send VR cameras to the most extreme and untouched corners of the planet.
  • Ceremonies (Timing: Q4) – Seeker is scouring the globe to take viewers inside some of the most exciting and exclusive festivals in the world – to understand culture, anthropology and the human nature of our most sacred group rituals.
  • Everest VR Partnership (Timing: September) – Seeker is partnering with VR studio Solfar and RVX to debut ‘Seeker Mode’ inside their hit VR experience Everest VR. Seeker Mode will serve rich storytelling and data within the experience, giving audiences a visceral understanding of what it’s like at the top of the world.

Thrillist:

  • Food/Groups (Timing: May) – A new mid-form weekly YouTube series exploring how food is at the center of modern communities and how it ties us together.
  • War & Pizza (Timing: This Year) – A long-form pizza-making competition series in partnership with T Group Productions that will span the digital, linear and physical worlds (culminating with a Thrillist pop-up restaurant for the winner).
  • Other upcoming original series will include Off the Bone, Best Job Ever, BBQ Quest, Before You Die, and Street Your Heart Out.
  • Thrillist x TLC “Best Meal Ever” (Timing: Q2) – A new multi-platform short form franchise featuring popular TLC talent revealing their absolute favorite meal in Thrillist’s signature style. Throughout the year, interstitials will wrap key TLC shows, crafting those perfect meals followed by step-by-step recipes posted across TLC and Thrillist platforms.

What’s new at Group Nine:

  • Group Nine x DigitasLBi Partnership (Timing: May) – As Group Nine’s first commercial deal, they will launch an exclusive video content creation & distribution offering for DigitasLBi clients. The deal combines proprietary content transformation tools Snacktory (DigitasLBi) & Socialize (Group Nine), powered by Group Nine’s analytics and insights engine. It allows brands to take existing content assets and transform them into engaging, snackable video content and distribute it across Group Nine’s social channels.

Natan Edelsburg

Executive Editor, Found Remote. EVP, Muck Rack & Shorty Awards. I watch every TV show. http://linkd.in/nedelsburg

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