Atom Gets Into CGM, With Accomodations for Advertisers

Atom Entertainment has opened the consumer generated media floodgates on its site, and has developed a strategy to make that amateur content appeal to marketers who have so far shied away from the phenomenon.

The service is similar to video services like YouTube. users can upload and share video, animation, and Flash games. The site also allows for the upload of content from a mobile phone.

Executives admit the move is a bit of a catch-up game, as other socially networked video aggregators have already achieved a critical mass of users. But they say they have the advantage of an existing reach and strong relationships with major advertisers, as well as a plan to avoid serving ads to pages with content that’s copyrighted, risqué or just plain ugly.

That plan consists of limiting advertisements to a human-edited section of the site, where content appears that has already been vetted by the community and internal stuff.

“Unlike a lot of other user-generated content sites, we have deep advertiser relationships with some revenue behind them,” said Dave Williams, chief marketing officer of Atom Entertainment and general manager of “They will be comfortable putting their ads next to some of this content. We have created safe zones on the site. The homepage will be a safe zone, where we’ll make sure the content is advertiser-friendly.”

Featured videos on that home page — and perhaps other site sections as well — will drive a large amount of traffic to a selection of hand-picked videos, to which advertising can safely be served. YouTube has a similar “Featured” section, but no ads are placed there.

For Atom, which operates a range of Web sites including, and, the CGM play is also about content development for those properties as much as it is about ad revenue from this one. A “Cash for Clips” program rewards the best content with money prizes and wider distribution on and the chance to share in ad revenue generated by pre-roll advertising against that content.

“If we take content from the filmmaker, they get a cut of revenue from whatever advertising is sold against that content,” said Williams. “We obviously want to tap into the user generated content phenomenon in general. But absolutely we see this as a great way to find content for AtomFilms.”

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