Ad Industry Vets Launch A Content Contender

A Co-founder of advertising agency Omelet, Steven Amato, is jumping from creating interstitial content to creating content that people actually tune in for. 

Amato is launching Contend, a creative content incubator with a focus on integrated digital and traditional broadcast. More specifically, the agency will create content for brands, while also creating entertainment programming under their own banner and with others. They will produce short- and long-form shows for multiple distribution channels and networks. 

Based in downtown Los Angeles, Amato is joined by a collective of "data-driven content creators," including Philip Alberstat who was part of the WME Indie team, Evan Astrowsky who worked for Eli Roth and went on to produce with Kevin Spacey at Trigger Street, as well as Broken Lizard Brigade's Paul Soter. 

In fact, this team of multi-disciplinary executives and 25 staffers helped to derive the agency's name: with these backgrounds ranging from entertainment, marketing, advertising and publishing, the company is philosophically rooted in creating content with an end result, thus the name Contend, says Amato. 

“We intend to create content, both commercially driven and entertaining that is rooted in the understanding and knowledge of audience needs, based on real data driven research,” says Amato. “We are part consultancy, part production company and part content distributor, providing measurable results for brands and media partners."

Contend represents the next chapter for Amato who just recently left his position as President and Chief Content Officer at Omelet, an agency which he co-founded in 2004. "Omelet is a strategic, world class, elite agency that I am super proud of bringing it into the world and growing it for the past 10 years," he says.

"Contend is focused on building relationships not only with brands but also with media platforms that are a critical component to any content campaign that wants to deliver positive ROI." 

Contend also utilizes Amato's various past experiences and skills, beyond advertising. He spent ten years as a playwright and within the last few years, consulted the White House and various government agencies on the utilization of technology in job development. He also consulted the government on cyber-hacking issues under the direction of Vice President Joseph Biden.

Contend currently has partnerships with Tribune Publishing, Facebook and The Enthusiast Network (TEN), and has created content campaigns for Lexus, Jewel-Osco, GQ, Menards and The Bridge television show on FX.

"Contend has had very quick growth out of the gate due to a clearly defined and defendable position in the market," says Amato. "We focused on creating a company to solve an industry need not just the needs of one client."

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