Apr 27, 2021 - Economy

Group Nine drives more than 200,000 subscriptions to discovery+

Group Nine Media, the digital company that houses internet brands like NowThis, The Dodo, PopSugar, Thrillist and Seeker, drove over 200,000 subs to discovery+ in Q1, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Discovery, Group Nine Media's largest minority investor, has leaned more into its partnership with Group Nine as it ventures into streaming.

  • Group Nine's web properties are running promotions for Discovery new streaming platform Discovery+. Those promotions guide users to the Discovery+ sign-up page. Clicks are being tracked and attributed to Group Nine.

Between the lines: The two companies are trying to integrate further to attract video ad dollars. For example, sources tell Axios that Group Nine has started to package Discovery-connected TV inventory into its proposals.

  • Discovery and Group Nine's ad sales teams are partnering on joint co-sale projects this year, sources add.
  • Group Nine Studios is producing original shows for Discovery+. The productions unit has already partnered with Discovery channels on a number of linear programs.
  • For example, POPSUGAR and Discovery recently partnered for Michelle Obama’s “Girl Talk” special, which ran across all of POPSUGAR’s digital channels as well as Discovery’s linear networks OWN and TLC and on discovery+.

The big picture: The tightening of the relationship between Discovery and Group Nine is notable given that several legacy media investors have moved away from their strategic investments in digital media properties amid financial struggles.

  • Most notably, Disney wrote down $157 million of its initial $400 million investment in Vice, shortly after reports suggested that the company was expected to lose money in 2018.

What's next: Expect Group Nine to play a large role in Discovery’s Upfronts presentation next month.

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