January 10, 2022
Atmosphere — a startup that curates streamed video content for commercial venues including Westin Hotels & Resorts, Taco Bell and Texas Roadhouse restaurants, as well as gyms, spas, airports and other places people congregate — has entered into a deal with TikTok to offer clients a channel programmed with the popular app’s short-form clips. The offering will be distinct from TikTok TV, launched in November as the mobile app’s first dedicated foray onto television screens and now available via Amazon Fire TV, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Google TV and other Android TV devices.
Atmosphere announced the TikTok deal at CES, where the Austin-based company also shared that it raised $100 million in new funding on the strength of strong 2021 growth, doubling “the number of venues using its ad-supported streaming services to 19,000, covering some 20 million monthly unique users,” TechCrunch reports.
While the service “already repurposes content from platforms like YouTube in channels that it builds, this will be the company’s first channel dedicated to a single social media brand.” Examples of its TikTok channel can be seen at Atmosphere.tv.
Prior to this round, Atmosphere had raised $43 million in three stages. “The company has nearly 250 employees in the U.S., and it is aiming to grow to more than 500 by the end of 2023,” according to VentureBeat, which reports the company was incubated as Chive TV within the Chive Media Group, and spun out in 2019.
Asked if the COVID-19 and the Omicron surge has impacted demand for its location-based service, aimed at public gathering spaces, the company responded in VentureBeat: “Atmosphere doubled in size over the last year, so despite the effect the pandemic has had on some businesses, we have found new growth avenues and continue to add new venues at an accelerated pace. We expect to continue this growth trajectory.”
VentureBeat said Atmosphere and TikTok “have been working on this deal and how the channel would look for eight months,” quoting Atmosphere co-founder and CEO Leo Resig as saying, “They are the largest internet social media platform right now, and so they are very particular about how their brand and content are distributed. But they see the power of our platform.”
TikTok, owned by China-based ByteDance, announced in September that it has more than 1 billion monthly users worldwide, according to CNBC. TikTok relies primarily on user-sourced content, although within the past year or so brands have gotten involved in establishing a presence on the service. TikTok is only available outside of China, where ByteDance distributes Douyin, a local version based on the same concept.