×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fan-Fueled Site Movie Pilot Raises $16 Million, Plots Move Into Video Games

Movie Pilot, a startup geared around fan-generated Hollywood coverage aimed at millennials, has raised $16 million in Series B funding led by French digital publishing conglomerate Webedia.

With the round, which brings Movie Pilot to $23 million raised to date, the company plans to expand into gaming content and boost video production. Movie Pilot’s previous investors, led by Deutsche Telekom’s T-Venture, also participated in the round.

The U.S. version of Movie Pilot, which originally started in Germany, launched in 2013. Movie Pilot claims to have 25 million unique monthly visitors (15 million of those in the U.S.), with traffic largely driven through nearly 30 million followers across multiple Facebook channels.

The company faces a slew of competitors, ranging from movie-focused sites like IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes to general-interest digital publishers like BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Vice that also target younger audiences. (Disclosure: Movie Pilot provides a weekly analysis of social-media data about movie buzz to Variety.)

Movie Pilot has two key differentiators, said co-founder and CEO Tobias Bauckhage. First, it concentrates on the “anticipation phase” of a movie or TV show launch – from the moment there’s a rumor of a project in the works up to the point it’s first released. “That’s an underserved fanbase,” he said.

Second, the site is “like Medium.com for fans,” with some 15,000 registered contributors who write articles and produce videos in exchange for access to red-carpet premieres and other perks. “We think of ourselves as a huge fanzine,” Bauckhage said. Movie Pilot recently started a revenue-sharing program for its most popular fan contributors.

Movie Pilot clients have included 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate and Focus Features.

The latest funding round gives Movie Pilot a post-money valuation of about $50 million, according to Bauckhage. Webedia acquired the German version of the site last year for $20 million.

Movie Pilot will use the funding to launch coverage of video games, using the same fan-generated model. In addition, the startup plans to expand its branded-video division. According to Bauckhage, the company currently generates more than 40 million monthly video views on Facebook.

Movie Pilot has about 60 employees at its headquarters in Venice, Calif., and an office in Berlin.

More Digital

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

  • VR Pop-Up Opens Doors in Manhattan

    Future of Storytelling Pop-Up VR Arcade Is Coming to Manhattan

    Manhattan is getting a location-based virtual reality (VR) pop-up, courtesy of Future of Storytelling: The temporary Story Arcade will open its doors in the Starrett-Lehigh building this coming Saturday, and host a number of VR experiences, including Felix & Paul Studio’s “Traveling While Black,” Fable’s “Wolves in the Walls” and MWM Immersive’s immersive theater VR [...]

  • Amy Winehouse

    Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Canceled Over 'Challenges and Sensitivities'

    Amy Winehouse will not be “Back to Black” in a holographic live tour after all. The late British singer, who died in 2011, was to be featured in a stage show slated to launch near the end of 2019. But the producer of the show, BASE Hologram, has indefinitely postponed plans for the Winehouse show, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content