“We’re bringing big data to Hollywood” – Moviepilot CEO Tobias Bauckhage on this week’s pivot, life in LA and hot new hires

Tobias Bauckhage
Tobias Bauckhage

Tobias Bauckhage

Moviepilot, one of the most successful of Berlin’s “old guard” of startups, is officially no longer just a film fan platform. Late last night, it announced a new facet – apparently the world’s first social media agency focused solely on movie and TV marketing.

That’s not so much delight for fans of Moviepilot, still mainly a discovery platform and community for film-lovers, but it is a crucial add to the business model. Or, rather, a formalisation of what was already starting to happen. To quote from the press statement:

Moviepilot.com, which operates 15 themed entertainment pages on Facebook that together form the world’s largest film and TV fan community of more than 10 million, has already run successful campaigns for studios including Paramount, Universal, Disney, Warner and Twentieth Century Fox, either internationally or domestically.”

The new, now official, social media agency will use a proprietary audience insight tool – “Q” – plus data from that fan community to run campaigns to promote films across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Life in Venice, LA – “It feels like Kastanianalle 10 years ago…”

Moviepilot raised $7 million in May from London VC DFJ Esprit and existing investors T-Venture, Grazia Equity and VC Fund Creative Industries Berlin, to underpin its expansion into the US. The company’s new office in LA now has three people, with a view to add up to four more next year.

Key for the company’s plans to woo Hollywood are three new hires: Amy Elkins (ex-head of digital at MEC and ex-MGM) as EVP of Strategy and Advertising, Amy Smith (ex-IMDb) as new US Director of Advertising, and John Gibbons (ex-IMDb head of monetisation) as an advisor.

“I was introduced to Amy (Elkins) through Peter Read, where she was working for us an an advisor,” Moviepilot CEO Tobias Bauckhage told VentureVillage. “One night, we were at a dinner party, and she just said ‘You know what? I’d actually love to do this job rather than help you look fort someone’… She spearheaded digital strategy at Paramount and just really gets it. Films like “The Devil Inside” really moved the dial in terms of social media marketing.”

Elkins will oversee the expansion of LA business operations, with Smith also on board to drive new revenue from the social marketing campaigns.

“So it’s not just the guy with the funny German accent, we have real heavy-hitting names helping us forge these relationships with the studios,” Bauckhage said. “The meetings have been going really well, the big studios traditionally went on gut feeling and experience when promoting movies on opening weekend – they’re really impressed with the data we can offer.”

And the move to LA, on a lifestyle level? “Going really well… We’re actually in Venice, so it’s not your typical plastic LA experience. It feels like Kastanianalle about 10 years ago…”

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