The 160-year-old publication, which has a small video operation compared to the distributed-media publishers that get billions of monthly views on Facebook, is focusing on creating longer videos that dive into serious topics such as science and politics. This includes weekly video series featuring its lineup of star editors and reporters, as well as animated videos and documentary features. At the same time, The Atlantic is prioritizing YouTube as the platform to distribute this content.
Like many U.S. publishers with global growth ambitions, The Atlantic has recently pitched up in London to expand international readership and foster closer relationships with advertising clients in Europe and Asia.
The Atlantic has spread its articles across platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn. It was one of the first publishers to launch on Facebook Instant Articles, and embraced Google’s counterpart, Accelerated Mobile Pages. It credits moves like that with a 30 percent increase in its digital audience and 20 percent increase in revenue last year.
Now, it’s doubling down on its efforts to make direct connections with readers. It has made a series of moves to make more regular readers out of people and ultimately, get more people to subscribe.
The Atlantic is introducing a membership program to get more revenue out of its most loyal readers. Starting on Sept. 6, the politics and ideas magazine will introduce the plan, called The Masthead, to subscribers at an introductory price of $100 a year.
Benefits include a digital subscription to the magazine; a daily newsletter with exclusive content; extended reporting around the monthly cover story; access to a members-only Facebook group; weekly conference calls with Atlantic editorial staffers; and discounted tickets to Atlantic events.