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IPs and Expandable APs: More Formats Bringing More Audience

You've probably seen lists like "Books Turned into Movies" on a streaming app. I'm sure you've also come across a book in a bookstore with a cover of a TV series, saying: "The Book that Inspired the Successful Netflix Series." That's the power of IPs.


Starting from the beginning, what is an IP: an Intellectual Property, and in our context here, it refers to a work of fiction or non-fiction, originally released – and sometimes conceived – in a specific format.


Some IPs aren't expandable, meaning they can't adapt to other formats apart from the original. A clear example: a photo book. It could become an ebook: yes (but maybe it won't serve as a coffee table book), it could become a film or an audiovisual series: it would be dull and would look like a PowerPoint presentation, it could become an audiobook or a podcast: nearly impossible.


Other IPs, however, can be expanded into many other formats, and that's where things get interesting. First, as a creator, you expand the possibilities for monetizing your content and having the same story present on multiple players and platforms. Second, this leverages the audience and enhances access. Need a famous example? Harry Potter. An IP that started as a book, turned into a film, ebook, audiobook, play, merchandise, and much more. Just like many others, from Marvel to Turma da Mônica. That's the power of a great story (harking back to my article from last month).


There are more and more examples, both national and international, of expanded IPs. Many books have been adapted into audiovisual productions, and many of these films or series end up boosting the book's sales. It's no wonder that it's almost a rule in the book world that when this happens (a book becoming a film or series), the publisher releases a new edition with the film or series cover. What we in the industry call cross-media or cross-formats is something that benefits everyone: the creator, the platforms, the consumers.


And there are many talented people doing this. WIP, for example, by Bruno and Pedro, is a company focused on managing and expanding IPs. MM Izidoro does this masterfully (from HBO to Emicida's documentary). Film production companies like Brigitte Filmes and RT Features are increasingly drawing from audio and books as sources for audiovisual IPs.


Globo also does this quite well, as seen with "Caso Evandro," which began as a podcast and turned into a GloboPlay series... and the list goes on. Not to mention Hollywood :)

So, as a creator and producer, you always need to consider the expansion of your IP. How much that story can fit into other formats, to reach different audiences and multiply access and consumption.


But there's another thing that has been appearing a lot within platforms (especially streaming and subscription platforms), a term I just came up with and will call an Expandable AP – it could be André Palme but it's not haha – meaning Audience Property.


What do I mean by this? This week started with Twitter and YouTube making their plans to include podcasts more evident within their apps. Spotify has been doing this for a while... we at Skeelo started with ebooks and now offer audiobooks and minibooks. In other words, a platform builds an audience in a certain format (in the case of YouTube, videos) and then realizes that it can introduce other formats to that same audience to increase consumption. This could be a strategy for retention and increased app usage or to attract more audience, as now, besides watching YouTube, you can listen to it. This was exactly the path Spotify took when introducing podcasts to a base of music fans... and what Globo is doing with Fantástico, introducing a podcast about pet adoption in an audiovisual program watched by millions of people.


In an industry where the competition is increasingly fierce to keep users in your app, your platform, your universe, expanding the consumption of your audience within it guarantees more revenue, more traffic, and possibly new users.


That's why it's so important for IP owners and platforms to always think about having Expandable APs through Expandable IPs. For instance, when a publisher releases an audiobook or podcast based on a book, or when a giant like YouTube officially introduces podcasts into its universe.


And you, what are your IP and AP strategies?

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