Areu Bros. to Acquire Innovative Localized OTT Platform Thea

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, October 11th, 2019

Areu Bros. and the Metro Atlanta Chamber announced an agreement that will shift an innovative marketing tool to a new media services company. With the acquisition of THEA, the Atlanta-based video-streaming platform that was among the first with a hyper-local approach, the Areu Bros. will take ownership of the platform. THEA will continue to focus on discovering and developing local content while also forging an unprecedented relationship between a major entertainment production studio and Georgia-based talent.
THEA, which is part of the Endavo network, was launched out of the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s ChooseATL initiative in 2018 to tell Atlanta’s story to the next generation. In its first year, THEA acquired a catalogue of 58 channels and more than 1.5 million viewers. The platform caught the attention of industry leaders at film festivals such as SXSW, Sundance and Cannes. Content ranges from comedy to lifestyle and culture to short films -- all sourced from Atlanta creators.  The exit to Areu Bros. not only allows THEA to continue its pursuit of discovering and amplifying local content but also enables the platform to be positioned for commercial viability and to scale in the marketplace. Initial plans will include expanding the catalogue of content, identifying a system of monetization that benefits both THEA and its content partners, and broadening distribution through enhanced marketing efforts.
“THEA had the incredible foresight to focus on the local experience when no one was focused on that space. Watching THEA launch and grow over the past year makes us very excited to welcome it into the Areu Bros. family. While OTT remains a robust global market, we are certain that THEA will continue to define the locally-sourced streaming experience,” said Ozzie Areu, founder and CEO of Areu Bros. “We believe that we can provide THEA with the environment and resources that it needs to reach its potential to not only change the local viewing experience in this new era of TV, but also provide unprecedented access to creators here in Atlanta and beyond cementing further control of their own trajectories.”
“The innovative thinking that led to the creation of THEA is the same innovative thinking that will take it forward with the Areu Bros. know-how, commitment to our community and leadership. We will always be proud to have been the founding organization that birthed the first city-based OTT platform. We’re confident that THEA will continue to play an important role in our collective efforts to promote Atlanta, inspire young people and elevate the work of Atlanta-based creatives,” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Areu also announced that Kate Atwood, who led the creation of THEA while serving as the past executive director of ChooseATL, will lead the new venture as CEO of THEA starting November 1.   Atwood has a history of creating community-based organizations in metro Atlanta.  Atwood is the founder of Kate’s Club, a nationally acclaimed non-profit organization based in Atlanta that serves children facing profound loss of a parent or sibling. She is also the former executive director of the Arby’s Foundation. Atwood will continue to serve the causes she cares most deeply about under her B.Essential platform.
Areu added, "Kate has an incredible background of casting vision that builds community in order to power creativity and connection. We are excited for the combination of Kate’s vision and our studio resources. As media has merged and become more nationally focused, the need for locality has never been more important."
The Metro Atlanta Chamber has a rich history that includes initiating efforts that have helped propel the Atlanta region dating back to 1859. The Atlanta Magazine, Atlanta Science Festival and Venture Atlanta are among popular entities and organizations that were birthed by the Chamber but thrive outside of the Chamber today.