Back in the day, publishers had two revenue streams: advertising and subscriptions.
Enter Google and Facebook, which have snatched away advertising dollars and ushered in an era of unprecedented media consolidation.
- Case in point: In 1983, media in the US was controlled by 50 companies — today, 90% is controlled by five.
To survive, publishers have had to find new revenue streams, and an increasingly popular option is selling their backlog to Hollywood, per Axios.
… has been embraced by massive imprints like The New York Times and The Washington Post, but it’s also become popular with smaller publications:
- The Atlantic recently announced that its first two film and television projects will soon be released on Peacock.
- Texas Monthly pulled in ~$1m last year after making 20+ licensing deals between 2020 and 2021.
Texas Monthly president Scott Brown says a credit in the main titles can drive viewers back to the magazine’s properties, making the deals a lucrative marketing play in addition to licensing revenue.
Hollywood could use help, too
Publisher archives can be a great source for non-Marvel fare and can lead to massive hits — a Texas Monthly story was the source for “Tiger King,” which took over Netflix in 2020.
Perhaps a marriage between these two struggling industries could be the love story we never knew we needed.
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