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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022

 

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the transition period from __________ to __________

 

Commission file number 001-12471

 

THE ARENA GROUP HOLDINGS, INC.

(formerly known as theMaven, Inc.)

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware   68-0232575
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
     

200 Vesey Street

24th Floor

New York, New York

  10281
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)

 

(212) 321-5002

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class   Trading Symbol(s)   Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value   AREN   NYSE American

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer ☐ Accelerated filer
   
Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company
   
Emerging growth company  

 

If emerging growth company, indicated by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

 

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ or No

 

As of June 30, 2022, which was the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter for fiscal 2022, the aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates was $90,417,933. This calculation is based upon the closing price of the common stock of $9.00 per share on that date, as reported by the NYSE American.

 

As of March 21, 2023, the Registrant had 18,820,926 shares of common stock outstanding.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 


Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, or Proxy Statement, to be filed within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year covered by this Annual Report on Form 10-K, are incorporated by reference in Part III. Except with respect to information specifically incorporated by reference in this Annual Report, the Proxy Statement shall not be deemed to be filed as part hereof.

 

 

 

 
 

 

Form 10-K

 

Table of Contents

 

      Page
       
Part I.     7
       
Item 1. Business   7
       
Item 1A. Risk Factors   15
       
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments   30
       
Item 2. Properties   30
       
Item 3. Legal Proceedings   30
       
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosure   30
       
Part II.     30
       
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities   30
       
Item 6. [Reserved]   31
       
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations   31
       
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk   47
       
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data   47
       
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure   47
       
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures   47
       
Item 9B. Other Information   48
       
Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections   48
       
Part III.     48
       
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance   48
       
Item 11. Executive Compensation   48
       
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters   48
       
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence   50
       
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services   50
       
Part IV.     50
       
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules   50
       
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary   55
       
Signatures   56

 

2
 

 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information

 

Certain statements and information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”). Forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and include, without limitation, statements concerning our business strategy, future revenues, market growth, capital requirements, product introductions, and expansion plans and the adequacy of our funding. Other statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K that are not historical facts are also forward-looking statements. We have tried, wherever possible, to identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates,” and other comparable terminology.

 

Forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, for example, statements about:

 

  our ability to achieve and maintain profitability in the future;
     
  our ability to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting;
     
  our ability to attract new subscribers and to persuade existing subscribers to renew their subscriptions;
     
  the success of strategic relationships with third parties;
     
  our ability to recruit and retain qualified personnel;
     
  our ability to manage our growth effectively, including through strategic acquisitions;
     
  our ability to attract, develop, and retain capable Publisher Partners and expert contributors;
     
  our ability to attract new advertisers and to persuade existing advertisers to continue to advertise on the Platform;
     
  our ability to grow market share in our existing markets or any new markets we may enter;
     
  our ability to respond to general economic conditions;
     
  the impact of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic;
     
  our ability to continue to satisfy NYSE American listing rules;
     
  our estimates of the sufficiency of our existing capital resources combined with future anticipated cash flows to finance our operating requirements; and
     
  other factors detailed under the section entitled “Risk Factors.”

 

We caution investors that any forward-looking statements presented in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or that we may make orally or in writing from time to time, are based on the beliefs of, assumptions made by, and information currently available to, us. Such statements are based on assumptions, and the actual outcome will be affected by known and unknown risks, trends, uncertainties, and factors that are beyond our control or ability to predict. Although we believe that our assumptions are reasonable, they are not guarantees of future performance, and some will inevitably prove to be incorrect. As a result, our actual future results can be expected to differ from our expectations, and those differences may be material. Accordingly, investors should use caution in relying on forward-looking statements, which are based only on known results and trends at the time they are made, to anticipate future results or trends.

 

Certain risks are discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and also from time to time in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”).

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions to our forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

3
 

 

Risk Factor Summary

 

The following is a summary of the principal risks to which our business is subject. This summary is not complete, and the risks summarized below are not the only risks we face. You should review and carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described in more detail in the section titled “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which includes a more complete discussion of the risks summarized below as well as a discussion of other risks related to our business and an investment in our common stock.

 

Risks Related to Our Business

 

If we fail to retain current users or add new users, or if our users decrease their level of engagement with the Platform, our business would be seriously harmed.
   
The market in which we participate is intensely competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our operating results could be harmed.
   
The sales and payment cycle for online advertising is long, and such sales may not occur when anticipated or at all, all of which could adversely affect our business.
   
We are dependent on the continued services and on the performance of key third party content contributors, the loss of which could adversely affect our business.
   
Our revenues could decrease if the Platform does not continue to operate as intended.
   
The growing percentage of users whose computers, tablets, or phones that do not support identification through third-party cookies, mobile identifiers, or other tracking technologies could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial conditions.
   
Our Publisher Partners may engage in intentional or negligent misconduct or other improper activities on the Platform or otherwise misuse the Platform, which may damage our brand image, our business and our results of operations.
   
The Platform and our technology systems contain open source software, which may pose particular risk to our proprietary software and Platform features and functionalities in a manner that negatively affect our business.

 

Economic and Operational Risks

 

We may have difficulty managing our growth.
   
The strategic relationships that we may be able to develop and on which we may come to rely may not be successful.
   
A significant portion of our revenues is derived from a single customer. If we were to lose this customer, our revenues could decrease significantly.
   
Interruptions or performance problems associated with our technology and infrastructure may adversely affect our business and operating results.
   
We operate our exclusive coalition of professional-managed online media channels on third party cloud platforms and data center hosting facilities.
   
Real or perceived errors, failures, or bugs in the Platform could adversely affect our operating results and growth prospects.

 

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Malware, viruses, hacking attacks, and improper or illegal use of the Platform could harm our business and results of operations.

 

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our business could suffer.
   
We could be required to cease certain activities or incur substantial costs as a result of any claim of infringement of another party’s intellectual property rights.
   
We are subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the United States and abroad that are constantly evolving and involve matters central to our business, including privacy, data protection, and personal information, rights of publicity, content, intellectual property, advertising, marketing, distribution, data security, data retention and deletion, personal information, electronic contracts and other communications, competition, protection of minors, consumer protection, telecommunications, employee classification, product liability, taxation, economic or other trade prohibitions or sanctions, securities law compliance, and online payment services, and the related compliance costs and our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could adversely affect our business.
   
Our services involve the storage and transmission of digital information; therefore, cybersecurity incidents, including those caused by unintentional errors and those intentionally caused by third parties, may expose us to a risk of loss, unauthorized disclosure or other misuse of this information, litigation liability, regulatory exposure, reputational harm and increased security costs.
   
Existing or future strategic alliances, long-term investments and acquisitions may have a material and adverse effect on our business, reputation and results of operations.
   
Our products may require availability of components or known technology from third parties and their non-availability can impede our growth.
   
Our business is subject to the risk of catastrophic events such as pandemics, earthquakes, flooding, fire, and power outages, and to interruption by man-made problems such as acts of war and terrorism.
   
Compliance with the reporting obligations under the United States securities laws and Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“Sarbanes”) will require expenditure of capital and other resources and may divert management’s attention. If we fail to comply with these reporting obligations or to maintain adequate internal control over financial reporting, our business, financial condition, and results of operations, and investors’ confidence in us, could be materially and adversely affected.
   
Unfavorable economic and market conditions could adversely affect our business, reputation and results of operations.

 

Risks Related to Our Indebtedness, Financial Condition, and Internal Control

 

As the general economic and market conditions present uncertainty as to our ability to secure additional capital, there can be no assurances that we will be able to secure additional financing on acceptable terms, or at all, as and when necessary to continue to conduct operations.
   
We have a history of losses.
   
Our results of operations may fluctuate significantly and may not meet our expectations or those of securities analysts and investors.
   
Any future litigation against us could be costly and time-consuming to defend.
   
Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards may be limited.

 

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Risks Related To Governance

 

We are dependent on the continued services and on the performance of our key executive officers, management team, and other key personnel, the loss of which could adversely affect our business.
   
The elimination of monetary liability against our directors, officers, and employees under Delaware law and the existence of indemnification rights for our obligations to our directors, officers, and employees may result in substantial expenditures by us and may discourage lawsuits against our directors, officers, and employees.
   
Because we are a “smaller reporting company,” we will not be required to comply with certain disclosure requirements that are applicable to other public companies, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to smaller reporting companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.
   
Provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and Delaware law may discourage a takeover attempt even if a takeover might be beneficial to our stockholders and limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers and employees.
   
Claims for indemnification by our directors and officers may reduce our available funds to satisfy successful third-party claims against us and may reduce the amount of money available to us.

 

Risks Related to Investment in Our Securities

 

The trading price of the shares of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile and could subject us to litigation.
   
Our Board is authorized to issue additional shares of our common stock that would dilute existing stockholders and sales, distribution or issuance of substantial amounts of our common stock could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.
   
We may issue additional securities with rights superior to those of our common stock, which could materially limit the ownership rights of our stockholders.

 

We may issue additional securities with rights superior to those of our common stock, which could materially limit the ownership rights of our stockholders.

 

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Part I

 

Item 1. Business

 

The Arena Group Holdings, Inc. (the “Company,” “Arena Group,” “we,” “our,” or “us”), is a tech-powered media company that focuses on building deep content verticals powered by a best-in-class digital media platform (the “Platform”) empowering premium publishers who impact, inform, educate, and entertain. Our strategy is to focus on key verticals where audiences are passionate about a topic category (e.g., sports and finance), and where we can leverage the strength of our core brands to grow our audience and increase monetization both within our core brands as well as our media publisher partners (each, a “Publisher Partner”). Our focus is on leveraging our Platform and iconic brands in targeted verticals to maximize audience reach, improve engagement, and optimize monetization of digital publishing assets for the benefit of our users, our advertiser clients, and our greater than 40 owned and operated properties as well as properties we run on behalf of independent Publisher Partners. We operate the media businesses for Sports Illustrated (“Sports Illustrated”), own and operate TheStreet, Inc. (“TheStreet”) and College Spun Media Incorporated (“The Spun”), Parade Media (“Parade”), Men’s Journal and power more than 225 independent Publisher Partners, including the many sports team sites that comprise FanNation. Each Publisher Partner joins the Platform by invitation only and is drawn from premium media brands and independent publishing businesses with the objective of augmenting our position in key verticals and optimizing the performance of the Publisher Partner. Publisher Partners incur the costs in content creation on their respective channels and receive a share of the revenue associated with their content. Because of the state-of-the-art technology and large scale of the Platform and our expertise in search engine optimization, social media, ad monetization and subscription marketing, Publisher Partners continually benefit from our ongoing technological advances and bespoke audience development expertise. Additionally, we believe the lead brand within each vertical creates a halo benefit for all Publisher Partners in the vertical while each of them adds to the breadth and quality of content. While the Publisher Partners benefit from these critical performance improvements they also may save substantially in costs of technology, infrastructure, advertising sales, and member marketing and management.

 

The Platform

 

We developed the Platform, a proprietary online publishing platform that provides our owned and operated media businesses, Publisher Partners (who are third parties producing and publishing content on their own domains), and individual creators contributing content to our owned and operated sites (“Expert Contributors”), the ability to produce and manage editorially focused content through tools and services provided by us. We have also developed proprietary advertising technology, techniques and relationships that allow us, our Publisher Partners and Expert Contributors to monetize online, editorially focused content through various display and video advertisements and tools and services for driving a subscription or membership based business and other monetization services (the “Monetization Solutions” and, together with the Platform, the “Platform Services”). Our Platform offers audiences bespoke content with optimized design and page construction.

 

The Platform comprises state-of-the-art publishing tools, video platforms, social distribution channels, newsletter technology, machine learning content recommendations, notifications, and other technology that deliver a complete set of features to drive a digital media business in an entirely cloud-based suite of services. Our software engineering and product development teams are experienced at delivering these services at scale. We continue to develop the Platform software by combining proprietary code with components from the open-source community, plus select commercial services as well as identifying, acquiring, and integrating other platform technologies, where we see unique long-term benefits to us.

 

The Platform Services include:

 

Content management, machine learning driven content recommendations, traffic redistribution, hosting and bandwidth;
   
Video publishing, hosting, and player solution via an integrated set of third-party providers;
   
Dashboards for our Publisher Partners as well as integration with leading analytics services like Google Analytics;

 

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User account management;
   
User account migration to platform, including emails and membership data;
   
Technical support team to support our Publisher Partners and staff (if applicable) on the Platform;
   
Advertising serving, trafficking/insertion orders, yield management, and reporting and collection;
   
Various integrations to enable the syndication of content (e.g., Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles, Google AMP, Google news and RSS feeds); and
   
Other features, as they may be added to the Platform from time to time.

 

Our Publisher Partners use the Platform Services to produce, manage, host and monetize their content in accordance with the terms and conditions of partner agreements between each of our Publisher Partners and us (the “Partner Agreements”). Our Publisher Partners incur the costs with respect to creating their content; thus, not requiring capital expenditures by us. Pursuant to the Partner Agreements, we and our Publisher Partners split revenue generated from the Platform Services used in connection with the Publisher Partner’s content based on certain criteria such as whether the revenue was from direct or programmatic advertising sales, was generated by our Publisher Partner or us, was generated in connection with a subscription or a membership, was generated from syndicating or licensing the content to third-parties, or whether the revenue was derived from affiliate links.

 

Subject to the terms and conditions of each Partner Agreement and in exchange for the Platform Services, our Publisher Partners grant us, for so long as our Publisher Partner’s assets are hosted on the Platform, (i) the right to use, host, store, cache, reproduce, publish, publicly display, distribute, transmit, modify, adapt and create derivative works of the content provided by the Publisher Partner to provide, maintain and improve the Platform Services; (ii) use, publicly display, distribute and transmit the name, logo, and trademarks of the Publisher Partner to identify them as users of the Platform Services; (iii) exclusive control of ads.txt with respect to our Publisher Partner’s domains and (iv) the exclusive right to include our Publisher Partner’s website domains and related URLs in our coalition in a consolidated listing assembled by third party measurement companies such as comScore, Nielsen or other similar measuring services selected by us. As such, the Platform serves as the primary digital media and social platform with respect to each of our Publisher Partners’ website domains during the applicable term of each Partner Agreement.

 

Our Brands and Growth Strategy

 

Our business model is to grow our Platform audience while striving to diversify revenue and drive gross margin through traditional media brands as well as new digital-first brands. We believe our vertical model allows us and our partners to leverage audience growth, technological efficiencies and cost savings across all of our brands. Our vertical model consists of (i) acquiring or partnering with powerful brands that can offer our audience bespoke content and domain authority, (ii) forming key strategic partnerships with like-minded partners of high-quality content, (iii) partnering with entrepreneurial publishers to drive local content at variable cost tied to performance, and (iv) growing our Publisher Partners on our network to expand our content offerings and add scale to the ecosystem.

 

Our growth strategy is to continue to expand the coalition by adding new Publisher Partners in key verticals that management believes will expand the scale of unique users interacting on the Platform. In each vertical, we seek to build around a leading brand, such as Sports Illustrated (for sports), TheStreet (for finance) and Parade and Men’s Journal (for lifestyle), surround it with subcategory specialists, and further enhance coverage with individual Expert Contributors. The primary means of expansion is adding independent Publisher Partners or acquiring publishers that have premium branded content and can broaden the reach and impact of the Platform. As our digital revenue and gross margin grows, we believe we can further accelerate our growth. Specifically, our 2023 growth initiatives include: (i) increasing syndication of the content on our Platform through the re-publishing the content on third-party websites, (ii) offering of podcasts and e-commerce through our Platform, (iii) growing Sports Illustrated sportsbook (“SI Sportsbook”), (iv) acquiring or developing new verticals for our users, and (v) continuing to identify and partner with new Publisher Partners.

 

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Sports Illustrated

 

In 2019, we entered into a licensing agreement, as amended (the “Sports Illustrated Licensing Agreement”) with ABG-SI LLC (“ABG”), pursuant to which we have the exclusive right and license in the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand to operate the Sports Illustrated media business (in the English and Spanish languages), including to (i) operate the digital and print editions of Sports Illustrated (including all special interest issues and the swimsuit issue) and Sports Illustrated for Kids, (ii) develop new digital media channels under the Sports Illustrated brands, and (iii) operate certain related businesses, including without limitation, special interest publications, video channels, bookazines, and the licensing and/or syndication of certain products and content under the Sports Illustrated brand. ABG is a brand development, marketing, and entertainment company.

 

Since assuming management of the Sports Illustrated media assets in October 2019, we have implemented significant changes to rebuild the historic brand and beacon of sports journalism, to evolve and expand the business, and to position it for growth and continued success going forward.

 

With respect to Sports Illustrated Swim (“SI Swim”), we have transitioned to a female-focused lifestyle brand, with the annual content release in May 2022. Our fan-facing event to celebrate the 2022 annual content release and ongoing digital sponsorships was held over several nights in May 2022 and we partnered with Hard Rock, Maybelline, Celsius, Frida Mom and others.

 

SI Sportsbook, an online sports betting app, was launched in 2021 in Colorado and has expanded to several states through the end of fiscal 2022. Pursuant to a licensing agreement, we provide content for SI Sportsbook and our partner, 888 Holdings PLC, one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming companies, provides the gambling engine, which it makes available to users in certain states in which it is registered.

 

TheStreet

 

TheStreet is a leading financial news and information provider to investors and institutions worldwide and produces business news and market analysis for individual investors. TheStreet has a strong editorial tradition, robust subscription platform, and valuable membership base to us, and benefits from our mobile-friendly CMS, social, video, and monetization technology.

 

The Spun

 

The Spun, founded in September 2012, and acquired by us in June 2021, is an online independent sports publication that brings readers the most interesting athletic stories of the day. The Spun focuses on the social media aspect of the industry. The former Chief Executive Officer of The Spun is now serving as our Senior Vice President of Growth, a role we believe will continue to assist us in growing our sports vertical business.

 

Parade

 

We acquired Parade, a premium-branded company in April 2022 which helped to expand our digital audience reach. Parade has become the anchor of our new lifestyle vertical, and Athlon Sports, one of Parade’s premium-brands, has expanded our sports vertical. In the fourth quarter of 2022, we discontinued the Parade print business. See Note 3, Discontinued Operations in our accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional information.

 

Men’s Journal

 

We acquired the digital assets of Men’s Journal from Weider Publications, a subsidiary of A360 Media, LLC in December 2022 to supplement our growing lifestyle vertical. This suite of digital assets provides our audience with access to premium active lifestyle brands including Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Surfer, Powder, Bike, SKATEboarding, Snowboarder and NewSchoolers.

 

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HubPages

 

HubPages enhances the user’s experience by including content from individual creators to the HubPages network of premium content channels that are owned and operated by Arena. These channels, such as PetHelpful, dengarden and Fashionista, act as an open community for writers, explorers, knowledge seekers, and conversation starters to connect in an interactive and informative online space.

 

Corporate History

 

We were originally incorporated in Delaware as Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc. (“Integrated”) in 1990. On October 11, 2016, Integrated and TheMaven Network, Inc. (“Maven Network”) entered into a share exchange agreement (the “Share Exchange Agreement”), whereby the stockholders of Maven Network agreed to exchange all of the then-issued and outstanding shares of common stock for shares of common stock of Integrated. On November 4, 2016, the parties consummated a recapitalization pursuant to the Share Exchange Agreement and, as a result, Maven Network became a wholly owned subsidiary of Integrated. Integrated changed its name to theMaven, Inc. on December 2, 2016.

 

On September 20, 2021, we re-branded to “The Arena Group.” Effective on February 8, 2022, we changed our legal name to The Arena Group Holdings, Inc. in conjunction with filing a Certificate of Amendment and Certificate of Corrections with the State of Delaware and on February 9, 2022, our common stock began trading on the NYSE American.

 

Intellectual Property

 

We use proprietary technology to operate our business, and our success depends, in part, on our ability to protect our technology and intellectual property. We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, as well as contractual restrictions, to establish and protect our intellectual property. We maintain a policy requiring our employees, contractors, consultants and other third parties to enter into confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements to control access to our proprietary information. These laws, procedures and restrictions provide only limited protection and any of our intellectual property rights may be challenged, invalidated, circumvented, infringed or misappropriated. Further, the laws of certain countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States and, therefore, in certain jurisdictions, we may be unable to protect our proprietary technology.

 

As of December 31, 2022, we had 7 issued patents in the United States, all expiring by 2033.

 

As of December 31, 2022, we also owned approximately 1,300 U.S. copyright registrations and had unregistered copyrights in our software documentation, software code, marketing materials, and website content that we develop, and owned over 1,600 registered domain names. As of December 31, 2022, we also owned 165 U.S. trademark registrations, 15 pending U.S. trademark applications, and 88 issued foreign trademark registrations and 20 pending foreign trademark applications in over 30 countries, and a number of unregistered marks that we use in the United States and other countries to promote our brands.

 

Our registered trademarks are all subject to renewal at various times through 2033.

 

We will continue to file updated trademark applications in the United States and abroad to reflect our branding evolution and to continue strengthening our trademark portfolio as financial resources permit. From time to time we also expect to file additional patents and copyrights.

 

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Our Publisher Partners and Licensing

 

In connection with our Partner Agreements and any other applicable agreements between us and our Publisher Partners, (i) we and our affiliates own and retain (a) all right, title, and interest in and to the Platform, other Monetization Solutions and data collected by us, and (b) we and our licensors’ trademarks and branding and all software and technology we use to provide and operate the Platform and Monetization Solutions, and (ii) each Publisher Partner owns and retains (a) all right, title, and interest in and to the Publisher Partner’s assets, content, and data collected by Publisher Partner and (b) each Publisher Partner’s trademarks and branding.

 

Seasonality

 

We do experience seasonality during the year, as a result of advertising seasonality and sports seasons and major sporting events. Advertising typically peaks in the fourth quarter of our fiscal year as advertisers concentrate their budgets during the holiday season. This trend is magnified as it also includes the professional sports and college football seasons, which account for a significant portion of our advertising revenue during that period of the year. Other sporting events such as the Super Bowl, Winter and Summer Olympics, soccer’s World Cup, and major golf, tennis and cycling events create increased traffic surrounding the respective events.

 

Competition

 

Currently, we believe that there are many competitors delivering media content in the verticals that we serve on the web and on mobile devices and an even broader array of general media companies and major media brands that compete for the attention of users and the advertisers who desire to reach them. We have developed a playbook that leverages our state-of-the-art platform to optimize the performance of both our owned and operated and our Publisher Partners’ properties. The playbook is a set of processes, procedures and tactics that help improve the consumer experience, develop a greater organic audience reach, apply data management and artificial intelligence tools, optimize monetization and leverage content through syndication and improved distribution. This all happens within our vertical structure, which leverages the iconic brands leading each vertical to deliver a highly engaging and effective experience for our users, advertisers and subscribers.

 

The web provides unlimited access to the market by niche or general media companies, so there are a large number and variety of direct competitors of ours competing for audience and ad and membership dollars. The general business of online media, combined with some level or method of leveraging community attracts many potential entrants, and in the future, there may be strong competitors that will compete with us in general or in selected markets. These and other companies may be better financed and be able to develop their markets more quickly and penetrate those markets more effectively. The following is a list of possible competitors and their respective categories:

 

Vice, Buzzfeed, Business Insider, et al. – niche content, leverages social, mobile, and video, and competes for ad dollars;
   
Fortune, CNN, ESPN, Yahoo!, Google, et al. – general content, major media companies, and competes for ad dollars;
   
WordPress, Medium, RebelMouse, Arc – content management software, open to all including experts and professionals, and competes for publishers;
   
Leaf Group Ltd. and Future PLC – competes for partners and ad dollars;
   
YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit – social platforms open to all including experts and professionals; and
   
Affiliate networks such as Liberty Alliance – competes for ad dollars.

 

In addition, even though do not compete in the same market, we view Nexstar Media Group, Inc. and Ziff Davis as peer companies for purposes of comparing our performance.

 

We believe that we compete on the basis of our technology, substantial scale in traffic, ease of use, recognized lead media brands, and platform evolution through a continuing development and acquisition program. We believe that our scale, methods, technology, and experience enable us to compete for a material amount of market share of media dollars and membership revenue.

 

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Government Regulations

 

Our operations are subject to a number of United States federal and state laws and regulations that involve data privacy, data protection, rights of publicity, content regulation, intellectual property, or other subjects. Many of these laws and regulations are still evolving and being tested in courts and could be interpreted in ways that could harm our business. In addition, the application and interpretation of these laws and regulations often are uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate. We continue to monitor existing and pending laws and regulations. and the impact of regulatory changes cannot be predicted with certainty.

 

Several government authorities, both in the United States and abroad, and private parties are increasing their focus on privacy issues and the use of personal information. All U.S. states have enacted some form of data security legislation, including data breach notification laws. There are a number of federal laws governing data privacy, and a growing number of U.S. states have enacted laws regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. California has been the most active in consumer privacy legislation, including passing a comprehensive law requiring transparency, access, and choice known as the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (the “CCPA”), which was amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (the “CPRA”) which went into effect January 1, 2020, with enforcement beginning in June 2023. In addition to California, certain states have already enacted (e.g. VA, CO, CT, and UT) comprehensive consumer privacy legislation and numerous others have introduced or are considering similar legislation. Certain states, such as Massachusetts, have also enacted legislation requiring that companies have written information security programs to protect certain personal data, and more states are considering laws for or have enacted laws about information security, which may require the adoption of written information security policies that are consistent with state laws if businesses have personal information of residents of those states.

 

Data privacy and information security legislation is also being considered at the federal level. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and state attorneys general have oversight of business operations concerning the use of personal information and breaches of the privacy laws under existing consumer protection laws. In particular, an attorney general or the FTC may examine privacy policies to ensure that a company discloses all material practices and fully complies with representations in the policies regarding the manner in which the information provided by visitors to a website is used and disclosed, and the failure to do so could give rise to penalties under state or federal unfair competition or consumer protection laws. The California Attorney General has begun aggressively investigating companies, especially those with websites, with respect to CCPA compliance, and these investigations include inquiries into issues for which there has not yet been clear guidance issued by the state, such as regarding third party cookies that collect personal information from users when they visit our and other websites.

 

We review our privacy policies and overall operations on a regular basis to ensure compliance with applicable United States federal and state laws, and to the extent applicable, any foreign laws. We launched a CCPA compliance program in January 2020, and have expedited it to cover CPRA as well. On an annual basis we review the program and adjust our privacy notice and compliance program practices to account for our evolving practices and the CCPA/CPRA regulations, which were first promulgated in July 2020 and continue to be subject to ongoing rulemaking. There are conflicting interpretations of the law that have been adopted by various parties in the digital media industry, and given the lack of guidance to date on many of these issues, our compliance posture on some issues might not be accepted by the State of California.

 

In addition to the laws of the United States, we may be subject to foreign laws regulating web sites and online services, and the laws in some jurisdictions outside of the United States are stricter than the laws in the United States. For instance, in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) went into effect in the EU and European Economic Area and Switzerland. The GDPR includes operational requirements for companies that receive or process personal data of residents of the EU that include significant penalties for non-compliance. In addition, some EU countries are considering or have passed legislation implementing additional data protection requirements or requiring local storage and processing of personal data or similar requirements that could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services. The GDPR also includes certain requirements regarding the security of personal data and notification of data processing obligations or security incidents to appropriate data protection authorities or data subjects, as well as requirements for establishing a lawful basis on which personal data can be processed. How the GDPR will be fully applied to online services, including cookies and digital advertising, is still being determined through ongoing rulemaking and evolving interpretation by applicable authorities. On June 16, 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU), declared the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield framework (“Privacy Shield”) to be invalid. As a result, Privacy Shield is no longer a valid mechanism for transferring personal data from the E.E.A. to the United States. We are addressing this issue, for instance, by including standard contractual clauses as part of our Data Processing Agreements; however, it is uncertain whether the standard contractual clauses will also be invalidated by the European courts or legislature, which seems possible given the rationale behind the CJEU’s concerns about U.S. law and practice on government surveillance. GDPR also convers a private right of action on data subjects and consumer associations to lodge complaints with supervisory authorities, seek judicial remedies and obtain compensation for damages resulting from violations of the GDPR. GDPR imposes substantial fines for breaches and violations (up to the greater of €20 million or 4% of our consolidated annual worldwide gross revenue).

 

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Social networking websites are also under increasing scrutiny. Legislation has been introduced on the state and federal level that could regulate social networking websites. Some rules call for more stringent age-verification techniques, attempt to mandate data retention or data destruction by Internet providers, and impose civil or criminal penalties on owners or operators of social networking websites.

 

The FTC regularly considers issues relating to online behavioral advertising (a/k/a interest-based advertising), which is a significant revenue source for us, and Congress and state legislatures are frequently asked to regulate this type of advertising, including requiring consumers to provide express consent for tracking purposes, so that advertisers may know their interests and are, therefore, able to serve them more relevant, targeted ads. Targeted ads generate higher per impression fees than non-targeted ads. New laws, or new interpretations of existing laws, could potentially place restrictions on our ability to utilize our database and other marketing data (e.g., from third parties) on our own behalf and on behalf of our advertising clients, which may adversely affect our business.

 

Legislation concerning the above-described online activities has either been enacted or is in various stages of development and implementation in other countries around the world and could affect our ability to make our websites available in those countries as future legislation is made effective. It is possible that state and foreign governments might also attempt to regulate our transmissions of content on our website or prosecute us for violations of their laws. United States law offers limited safe harbors and immunities to publishers for certain liability arising out of user-posted content, but other countries do not. Further, there are a number of legislative proposals in the United States and internationally, that could impose new obligations in areas affecting our business, such as liability for copyright infringement by third parties and liability for defamation or other claims arising out of user-posted content. Our business could be negatively impacted if applicable laws subject us to greater regulation or risk of liability.

 

Our business could also be adversely affected if regulatory enforcement authorities, such as the California Attorney General or EU/EEA data protection authorities, take issue with any of our approaches to compliance, or if new laws, regulations or decisions regarding the collection, storage, transmission, use or disclosure of personal information are implemented in such ways that impose new or additional technological requirements on us, limit our ability to collect, transmit, store and use or disclose the information, or if government authorities or private parties challenge our data privacy or security practices that result in liability to, or restrictions on us, or we experience a significant data or information breach which would require public disclosure under existing notification laws and for which we may be liable for damages or penalties.

 

Furthermore, governments of applicable jurisdictions might attempt to regulate our transmissions or levy sales or other taxes relating to our activities even though we do not have a physical presence or operate in those jurisdictions. As our platforms, products and advertising activities are available over the Internet anywhere in the world, multiple jurisdictions may claim that we are required to qualify to do business as a foreign corporation in each of those jurisdictions and pay various taxes in those jurisdictions. We address state and local jurisdictions where we believe we have nexus, however, there can be no assurance that we have complied with all jurisdictions that may assert that we owe taxes.

 

Currently, we carry cybersecurity and business interruption coverage to mitigate certain potential losses, but this insurance is limited in amount and may not be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to a cybersecurity breach and related business and system disruptions. We cannot be certain that such potential losses will not exceed our policy limits, insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or any insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. In addition, we may be subject to changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements.

 

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Human Capital Resources

 

Our total number of employees as of December 31, 2021, was 400, of which 391 were full-time employees and 9 were part-time employees. Roughly 23% of our workforce, or 92 employees, is represented by a union named The NewsGuild of New York, CWA Local 31003 (the “Guild”) pursuant to a binding Memorandum of Agreement executed by and between the Guild and The Arena Media Brands, LLC (“Arena Media”) on December 31, 2021 (the “MOA”), which covers Sports Illustrated editorial staff. The MOA is intended to be finalized in the form of a collective bargaining agreement during fiscal 2023. The MOA comprehensively addresses the terms of employment for covered employees and non-employees regarding, among other things, wages, raises, bonuses, severances, benefits, discipline and the like. We have incorporated the terms of the MOA into our fiscal 2022 employment practices.

 

Corporate Culture

 

We like to say that The Arena Group is where the action is - where passion drives each of us. The things we love are what keep us coming back to read, watch and experience the best in sports, finance, and entertainment – brought to you by the iconic brands you admire most. We are building out the pathways to passion – your ticket to continuous excitement.

 

We are working to build and sustain a company culture that enables our employees to show up as their best, whole selves; to communicate, collaborate, and innovate with their colleagues, no matter where they are located; and to learn, grow, and belong.

 

DEI Initiatives

 

We believe that a workforce rich in diversity of thought, background, and experience helps us build a company and community where we can all succeed. This year, we launched our first company-wide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) Council – comprised of 18 employees with a variety of identities and backgrounds that also represented as wide a selection as possible across brands, functions, and tenures at Arena, and most importantly, represented a clear commitment to diversity and inclusion at our company. The Council meets monthly, and meets with and advises senior leadership on how to direct an annual DEI budget.

 

We expect to launch our first company-wide engagement survey in 2023, alongside multi-faceted efforts to build and sustain an inclusive culture of feedback and engagement. The feedback from this survey will help us prioritize our best next steps in continued improvement of our workplace community.

 

Available Information

 

We file our annual, periodic and current reports, and other required information, electronically with the SEC. The SEC maintains a website at www.sec.gov that contains reports, proxy and information statements and other information that we file with the SEC electronically. We also make available on our website at www.thearenagroup.net, free of charge, copies of these reports and other information as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC.

 

We use our website, blog, press releases, public conference calls and public webcasts as means of disclosing material non-public information and for complying with our disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. The information disclosed by the foregoing channels could be deemed to be material information. As such, we encourage investors, the media, and others to follow the channels listed above and to review the information disclosed through such channels. The contents of the websites referred to above are not incorporated into this filing.

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

 

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. Listed below is a summary of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, operations and financial results. There are numerous factors that affect our business, operations and financial results, many of which are beyond our control. The risks described below are not the only risks we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business operations. If any of the following risks actually occur, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, or our ability to pay our debts and other liabilities could suffer. As a result, the trading price and liquidity of our securities could decline, perhaps significantly, and you could lose all or part of your investment. The risks discussed below also include forward-looking statements and our actual results may differ substantially from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. See the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.” All dollar figures are presented in thousands unless otherwise stated.

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS

 

If we fail to retain current users or add new users, or if our users decrease their level of engagement with the Platform, our business would be seriously harmed.

 

The success of our business heavily depends on the size of our user base and the level of engagement of our users. Thus, our business performance will also become increasingly dependent on our ability to increase levels of user engagement in existing and new markets. We are continuously subject to a highly competitive market in order to attract and retain our users’ attention. A number of factors could negatively affect user retention, growth, and engagement, including if:

 

  our users increasingly engage with competing platforms instead of ours;
  we fail to introduce new and exciting products and services, or such products and services do not achieve a high level of market acceptance;
  we fail to accurately anticipate user needs, or we fail to innovate and develop new software and products that meet these needs;
  we fail to price our products competitively;
  we do not provide a compelling user experience because of the decisions we make regarding the type and frequency of advertisements that we display;
  we are unable to combat spam, bugs, malwares, viruses, hacking, or other hostile or inappropriate usage of our products or the Platform;
  there are changes in user sentiment about the quality or usefulness of our existing products in the short-term, long-term, or both;
  there are increased user concerns related to privacy and information sharing, safety, or security on the Platform;
  there are adverse changes in our products or services that are mandated by legislation, regulatory authorities, or legal proceedings;
  technical or other problems frustrate the user experience, particularly if those problems prevent us from delivering our products in a fast and reliable manner;
  we, our Publisher Partners, or other companies in our industry are the subject of adverse media reports or other negative publicity, some of which may be inaccurate or include confidential information that we are unable to correct or retract; or
  we fail to maintain our brand image or our reputation is damaged.

 

Any decrease in user retention, growth, or engagement could render our products and the Platform less attractive to users, advertisers, or our Publisher Partners, thereby reducing our revenues from them, which may have a material and adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. In addition, there can be no assurance that we will succeed in developing products and services that will eventually become widely accepted, that we will be able to timely release products and services that are commercially viable, or that we will establish ourselves as a successful player in any new business area we decide to enter in the future. Our inability to do so would have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

The market in which we participate is intensely competitive, and if we do not compete effectively, our operating results could be harmed.

 

The digital media industry is fragmented and highly competitive. There are many players in the digital media market, many with greater name recognition and financial resources, which may give them a competitive advantage. Some of our current and potential competitors have substantially greater financial, technical, marketing, distribution, and other resources than we do. Our competitors may be able to respond more quickly and effectively than we can to new or changing opportunities, technologies, standards, customer, and user requirements and trends. In addition, our customers and strategic partners may become competitors in the future. Certain of our competitors may be able to negotiate alliances with strategic partners on more favorable terms than we are able to negotiate. Pricing pressures and increased competition generally could result in reduced sales, reduced margins, losses, or the failure of the Platform to achieve or maintain more widespread market acceptance, any of which could adversely affect our revenues and operating results. With the introduction of new technologies, the evolution of the Platform, and new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future.

 

The sales and payment cycle for online advertising is long, and such sales may not occur when anticipated or at all, all of which could adversely affect our business.

 

The decision process is typically lengthy for brand advertisers and sponsors to commit to online campaigns. Some of their budgets are planned a full year in advance. The decision process for such purchases, even in normal business situations, is subject to delays and aspects that are beyond our control. In addition, some advertisers and sponsors take months after the campaign runs to pay, and some may not pay at all, or require partial “make-goods” based on performance.

 

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We are dependent on the continued services and on the performance of key third party content contributors, the loss of which could adversely affect our business.

 

We rely on content contributed by third party providers, which has in turn attracted users that drive advertising and subscription revenue. The loss of the services of any of such key contributors could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. Although we have service agreements with some of our key contributors, many are short term in nature or have cancelation clauses in the agreements. We also depend on our ability to identify, attract, and retain, other highly skilled third-party content contributors. Competition for such contributors is intense, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully attract, assimilate, or retain them. The loss or limitation of the services of any of our key third party contributors, or our inability to attract and retain additional qualified key contributors, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

 

Our revenues could decrease if the Platform does not continue to operate as intended.

 

The Platform performs complex functions and is vulnerable to undetected errors or unforeseen defects that could result in a failure to operate or inefficiency. There can be no assurance that errors and defects will not be found in current or new products or, if discovered, that we will be able to successfully correct them in a timely manner or at all. The occurrence of errors and defects could result in loss of or delay in revenue, loss of market share, increased development costs, diversion of development resources and injury to our reputation or damage to our efforts to expand brand awareness.

 

The growing percentage of users whose computers, tablets, or phones that do not support identification through third-party cookies, mobile identifiers, or other tracking technologies could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial conditions.

 

We use “cookies,” or small text files placed on user devices when an Internet browser is used, as well as mobile device identifiers, to connect users’ computers anonymously to information that we gather, enabling the Platform to demonstrate to advertisers its efficacy. Our cookies and mobile device identifiers do not identify users directly, but provide an anonymized identifier that connects users to our records on what that user views or clicks on, as well as other information provided by the user’s device.

 

More and more devices have offered functionalities that block such anonymized identifiers or provided the ability for the users to proactively block such anonymized identifiers, which could reduce the ability of the Platform to discover which users are most relevant to a message or to measure the effectiveness of such messages. Some prominent technology companies, including Google, have also announced intentions to discontinue the use of cookies, and to develop alternative methods and mechanisms for tracking users. As companies replace cookies, it is possible that such companies may rely on proprietary algorithms or statistical methods to track users without cookies, or may utilize log-in credentials entered by users into other web properties owned by these companies, such as their email services, to track web usage, including usage across multiple devices, which could come into conflict with local regulations in various jurisdictions.

 

Although we believe the Platform is well-positioned to continue to provide key data insights to advertisers without cookies, actions by advertisers to buy advertising based on alternative identifiers could lead to changes in purchase behavior of such advertisers, thereby possibly impacting our operations, and our financial condition could be adversely affected.

 

Our Publisher Partners may engage in intentional or negligent misconduct or other improper activities on the Platform or otherwise misuse the Platform, which may damage our brand image, our business and our results of operations.

 

The Platform provides our owned and operated media businesses, Publisher Partners, and individual creators contributing content to our owned and operated sites the ability to produce and manage editorially focused content through tools and services provided by us. We might not be able to monitor or edit a significant portion of the content, such as advertising content, that appears on the Platform. We use a mix of automated and human controls to detect and manage editorial content produced by Publisher Partners and individual creators that could cause damage to our brands.

 

If Publisher Partner misconduct and misuse of the Platform for inappropriate or illegal purposes occurs, user experience on the Platform may suffer, and claims may be brought against us. Our business and public perception of our brands may be materially and adversely affected if we face any related lawsuits or other liabilities.

 

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The Platform and our technology systems contain open source software, which may pose particular risk to our proprietary software and Platform features and functionalities in a manner that negatively affect our business.

 

We use open source software in the Platform and our technology systems and will continue to use open source software in the future. To handle risks in this regard, we have set up an internal system to monitor the open source software we use in our operation and to manage the risk it poses to our business. Despite these risk management efforts, open source software licenses could be construed in a manner that imposes unanticipated conditions or restrictions on our ability to provide our services through the various features and functionalities of the Platform. Additionally, we may face claims from third parties claiming ownership of, or demanding release of, the open source software or derivative works that we developed using such software. These claims could result in litigation and could require us to make our software source code freely available, purchase a costly license or cease offering the implicated services unless and until we can re-engineer them to avoid infringement. This re-engineering process could require significant additional technology and development resources, and we may not be able to complete it successfully.

 

ECONOMIC AND OPERATIONAL RISKS

 

We may have difficulty managing our growth.

 

We have added, and expect to continue to add, Publisher Partner and end-user support capabilities, to continue software development activities, and to expand our administrative operations. In the past two years, we have entered into multiple strategic transactions. These strategic transactions, which have significantly expanded our business, have and are expected to place a significant strain on our managerial, operational, and financial resources. To manage any further growth, we will be required to improve existing, and implement new, operational, customer service, and financial systems, procedures and controls and expand, train, and manage our growing employee base. We also will be required to expand our finance, administrative, technical, and operations staff. There can be no assurance that our current and planned personnel, systems, procedures, and controls will be adequate to support our anticipated growth, that management will be able to hire, train, retain, motivate, and manage required personnel or that our management will be able to successfully identify, manage and exploit existing and potential market opportunities. If we are unable to manage growth effectively, our business could be harmed.

 

The strategic relationships that we may be able to develop and on which we may come to rely may not be successful.

 

We will seek to develop strategic relationships with advertising, media, technology, and other companies to enhance the efforts of our market penetration, business development, and advertising sales revenues. These relationships are expected to, but may not, succeed. There can be no assurance that these relationships will develop and mature, or that potential competitors will not develop more substantial relationships with attractive partners. Our inability to successfully implement our strategy of building valuable strategic relationships could harm our business.

 

We rely heavily on our ability to collect and disclose data and metrics in order to attract new advertisers and retain existing advertisers. Any restriction, whether by law, regulation, policy, or other reason, on our ability to collect and disclose data that our advertisers find useful would impede our ability to attract and retain advertisers. Our advertising revenue could be seriously harmed by many other factors, including:

 

  a decrease in the number of active users of the Platform;
  our inability to create new products that sustain or increase the value of our advertisements;
  our inability to increase the relevance of targeted advertisements shown to users;
  adverse legal developments relating to advertising, including changes mandated by legislation, regulation, or litigation; and
  difficulty and frustration from advertisers who may need to reformat or change their advertisements to comply with our guidelines.

 

The occurrence of any of these or other factors could result in a reduction in demand for advertisements, which may reduce the prices we receive for our advertisements or cause advertisers to stop advertising with us altogether, either of which would negatively affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

 

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A significant portion of our revenues is derived from a single customer. If we were to lose this customer, our revenues could decrease significantly.

 

In fiscal 2022, we had revenues from one customer that comprised approximately 13.9% of our annual revenue. Therefore, we are highly dependent on a single customer to generate a material percentage of our annual revenue. The loss of this customer, or a significant reduction in sales to such customer, could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. We attempt to diversify our business in order to minimize any revenue concentration risk.

 

Interruptions or performance problems associated with our technology and infrastructure may adversely affect our business and operating results.

 

Our growth will depend in part on the ability of our users, customers and Publisher Partners to access the Platform at any time and within an acceptable amount of time. We believe that the Platform is proprietary, and we rely on the expertise of members of our engineering, operations, and software development teams for their continued performance. It is possible that the Platform may experience performance problems due to a variety of factors, including infrastructure changes, introductions of new functionality, human or software errors, capacity constraints due to an overwhelming number of users accessing the Platform software simultaneously, denial of service attacks, or other security related incidents. We may not be able to identify the cause or causes of any performance problems within an acceptable period of time. It may be that it will be difficult to maintain or improve our performance, especially during peak usage times and as the Platform becomes more complex and our user traffic increases. If the Platform software is unavailable or if our users are unable to access it within a reasonable amount of time or at all, our business would be negatively affected. Therefore, in the event of any of the factors described above, or certain other failures of our infrastructure, partner or user data may be permanently lost. Moreover, the Partner Agreements with our Publisher Partners include service level standards that obligate us to provide credits or termination rights in the event of a significant disruption in the Platform. To the extent that we do not effectively address capacity constraints, upgrade our systems as needed, and continually develop our technology and network architecture to accommodate actual and anticipated changes in technology, our business and operating results may be adversely affected.

 

We operate our exclusive coalition of professional-managed online media channels on third party cloud platforms and data center hosting facilities.

 

We rely on software and services licensed from, and cloud platforms provided by, third parties in order to offer our digital media services. Any errors or defects in third-party software or cloud platforms could result in errors in, or a failure of, our digital media services, which could harm our business. Any damage to, or failure of, these third-party systems generally could result in interruptions in the availability of our digital media services. As a result of this third-party reliance, we may experience the aforementioned issues, which could cause us to render credits or pay penalties, could cause our Publisher Partners to terminate their contractual arrangements with us, and could adversely affect our ability to grow our audience of unique visitors, all of which could reduce our ability to generate revenue. Our business would also be harmed if our users and potential users believe our product and services offerings are unreliable. In the event of damage to, or failure of, these third-party systems, we would need to identify alternative channels for the offering of our digital media services, which would consume substantial resources and may not be effective. We are also subject to certain standard terms and conditions with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud related to data storage purposes. These providers have broad discretion to change their terms of service and other policies with respect to us, and those changes may be unfavorable to us. Therefore, we believe that maintaining successful partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and other third-party suppliers is critical to our success.

 

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Real or perceived errors, failures, or bugs in the Platform could adversely affect our operating results and growth prospects.

 

Because the Platform is complex, undetected errors, failures, vulnerabilities, or bugs may occur, especially when updates are deployed. Despite testing by us, errors, failures, vulnerabilities, or bugs may not be found in the Platform until after they are deployed to our users. We expect from time to time to discover software errors, failures, vulnerabilities, and bugs in the Platform and anticipate that certain of these errors, failures, vulnerabilities, and bugs will only be discovered and remediated after deployment to our Publisher Partners and used by our users. Real or perceived errors, failures, or bugs in our software could result in negative publicity, loss of or delay in market acceptance of the Platform, loss of competitive position, or claims by our Publisher Partners or our users for losses sustained by them. In such an event, we may be required, or may choose, for customer relations or other reasons, to expend additional resources in order to help correct the problem.

 

Malware, viruses, hacking attacks, and improper or illegal use of the Platform could harm our business and results of operations.

 

Malware, viruses, and hacking attacks have become more prevalent in our industry and have occurred on our systems and may occur in the future. Any security breach caused by hacking, which involves efforts to gain unauthorized access to information or systems, or to cause intentional malfunctions or loss or corruption of data, software, hardware, or other computer equipment, and the inadvertent transmission of computer viruses could harm our business, financial condition and operating results. Any failure to detect such attack and maintain performance, reliability, security and availability of products and technical infrastructure to the satisfaction of our users may also seriously harm our reputation and our ability to retain existing users and attract new users.

 

Our information technology systems are susceptible to a growing and evolving threat of cybersecurity risk. Any compromise of our data security, whether externally or internally, or misuse of agent, customer, or employee data, could cause considerable damage to our reputation, cause the public disclosure of confidential information, and result in lost sales, significant costs, and litigation, which would negatively affect our financial position and results of operations. Although we maintain policies and processes surrounding the protection of data, which we believe to be adequate, there can be no assurances that we will not be subject to such claims in the future.

 

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our business could suffer.

 

Our success significantly depends on our proprietary technology. We rely on a combination of copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, employee and third-party non-disclosure and invention assignment agreements and other methods to protect our proprietary technology. However, these only afford limited protection, and unauthorized parties may attempt to copy aspects of the Platform’s features and functionality, or to use information that we consider proprietary or confidential. There can be no assurance that the Platform will be protectable by patents, but if it is, any efforts to obtain patent protection that is not successful may harm our business in that others will be able to use our technologies. For example, previous disclosures or activities unknown at present may be uncovered in the future and adversely impact any patent rights that we may obtain. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as do the laws of the United States. There can be no assurance that the steps taken by us to protect our proprietary rights will be adequate or that third parties will not infringe or misappropriate our trademarks, copyrights, and similar proprietary rights. If we resort to legal proceedings to enforce our intellectual property rights, those proceedings could be expensive and time-consuming and could distract our management from our business operations. Our business, profitability and growth prospects could be adversely affected if we fail to receive adequate protection of our proprietary rights.

 

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We could be required to cease certain activities or incur substantial costs as a result of any claim of infringement of another party’s intellectual property rights.

 

Some of our competitors, and other third parties, may own technology patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and website content, which they may use to assert claims against us. We cannot assure you that we will not become subject to claims that we have misappropriated or misused other parties’ intellectual property rights. Any claim or litigation alleging that we have infringed or otherwise violated intellectual property or other rights of third parties, with or without merit, and whether or not settled out of court or determined in our favor, could be time-consuming and costly to address and resolve, and could divert the time and attention of our management and technical personnel.

 

The results of any intellectual property litigation to which we might become a party may require us to do one or more of the following:

 

  cease making, selling, offering, or using technologies or products that incorporate the challenged intellectual property;
  make substantial payments for legal fees, settlement payments, or other costs or damages;
  obtain a license, which may not be available on reasonable terms, to sell or use the relevant technology; or
  redesign technology to avoid infringement.

 

If we are required to make substantial payments or undertake any of the other actions noted above as a result of any intellectual property infringement claims against us, such payments or actions could have a material adverse effect upon our business and financial results.

 

We are subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the United States and abroad that are constantly evolving and involve matters central to our business, including privacy, data protection, and personal information, rights of publicity, content, intellectual property, advertising, marketing, distribution, data security, data retention and deletion, personal information, electronic contracts and other communications, competition, protection of minors, consumer protection, telecommunications, employee classification, product liability, taxation, economic or other trade prohibitions or sanctions, securities law compliance, and online payment services, and the related compliance costs and our failure to comply with these laws and regulations could adversely affect our business.

 

We must comply with regulations in the United States as well as any other regulations adopted by other countries where we may do business. The introduction of new products, expansion of our activities in certain jurisdictions, or other actions that we may take may subject us to additional laws, regulations, monetary penalties or other government scrutiny. In addition, foreign data protection, privacy, competition, and other laws and regulations can impose different and/or conflicting obligations or be more restrictive than those in the United States. These United States federal and state and foreign laws and regulations, which in some cases can be enforced by private parties in addition to government entities, are constantly evolving and can be subject to significant change, which could adversely affect our business. As a result, the application, interpretation, and enforcement of these laws and regulations are often uncertain, particularly in the new and rapidly evolving industry in which we operate and may be interpreted and applied inconsistently from country to country and inconsistently with our current policies and practices. For example, laws relating to the liability of providers of online services for activities of their users and other third-parties are currently being tested by a number of claims, including actions based on invasion of privacy and other torts, unfair competition, copyright, and trademark infringement, and other theories based on the nature and content of the materials searched, the ads posted, or the content provided by users. In addition, there have been calls by members of Congress, from both parties, to limit the scope of the current immunities and safe harbors afforded online publishers with regard to user content and communications under the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the federal Communications Decency Act. Any material reduction of those protections would make us more vulnerable to third party claims arising out of user content published by our online services.

 

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In particular, the adoption or modification of laws or regulations relating to online media, communities, commerce, security and privacy could harm our business, operating results and financial condition by increasing our compliance costs and administrative burdens. It may take years to determine whether and how existing laws such as those governing intellectual property, privacy, security, libel, consumer protection, and taxation apply. Laws and regulations directly applicable to Internet activities are becoming more diverse and prevalent in all global markets. The growth and development of Internet content, commerce and communities may prompt calls for more stringent consumer protection laws, privacy laws and data protection laws, both in the United States and abroad, as well as new laws governing the taxation of these activities. Compliance with any newly adopted laws may prove difficult for us and may harm our business, operating results, and financial condition. For example, regulatory or legislative actions affecting the manner in which we display content to our users or obtain consent to various practices could adversely affect user growth and engagement. Such actions could affect the manner in which we provide our services or adversely affect our financial results.

 

Furthermore, significant penalties could be imposed on us for failure to comply with various statutes or regulations. Violations may result from:

 

  ambiguity in statutes;
  regulations and related court decisions;
  the discretion afforded to regulatory authorities and courts interpreting and enforcing laws;
  new regulations affecting our business; and
  changes to, or interpretations of, existing regulations affecting our business.

 

While we prioritize ensuring that our business and compensation model are compliant, and that any product or income related claims are truthful and non-deceptive, we cannot be certain that the FTC or similar regulatory body in another country will not modify or otherwise amend its guidance, laws, or regulations or interpret in a way that would render our current practices inconsistent with the same.

 

Our services involve the storage and transmission of digital information; therefore, cybersecurity incidents, including those caused by unintentional errors and those intentionally caused by third parties, may expose us to a risk of loss, unauthorized disclosure or other misuse of this information, litigation liability, regulatory exposure, reputational harm and increased security costs.

 

We and our third-party service providers experience cyber-attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis, one of which infiltrated our systems and accessed a limited amount of our non-financial and encrypted data. We expect to incur significant, increasing costs in ongoing efforts to detect and prevent cybersecurity-related incidents. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased opportunities for cyber-criminals and the risk of potential cybersecurity incidents, as more companies and individuals work online. We cannot ensure that our efforts to prevent cybersecurity incidents will succeed. An actual or perceived breach of our cybersecurity could impact the market perception of the effectiveness of our cybersecurity controls. Our users or business partners, including our Publisher Partners, could lose trust and confidence in us, decrease their use of our services or stop using them in entirely. We could also incur significant legal and financial exposure, including legal claims, higher transaction fees and regulatory fines and penalties, which in turn could have a material and adverse effect on our business, reputation and operating results. While our insurance policies include liability coverage for certain of these types of matters, a significant cybersecurity incident could subject us to liability or other damages that exceed our insurance coverage, increase the cost of our insurance policy going forward, and preclude us from obtaining adequate insurance levels in the future.

 

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Existing or future strategic alliances, long-term investments and acquisitions may have a material and adverse effect on our business, reputation and results of operations.

 

We may enter into strategic alliances with various third parties to further our business purpose from time to time. These alliances could subject us to a number of risks, including risks associated with sharing proprietary information, non-performance by the third party and increased expenses in establishing new strategic alliances, any of which may materially and adversely affect our business. We may have limited ability to monitor or control the actions of these third parties and, to the extent any of these strategic third parties suffers negative publicity or harm to their reputation from events relating to their business, we may also suffer negative publicity or harm to our reputation by virtue of our association with any such third party. In addition, if appropriate opportunities arise, we may acquire additional assets, products, technologies or businesses that are complementary to our existing business. Future acquisitions and the subsequent integration of new assets and businesses into our own would require significant attention from our management and could result in a diversion of resources from our existing business, which in turn could have an adverse effect on our business operations. Acquisitions may not achieve our goals and could be viewed negatively by users, business partners or investors. Acquisitions could result in the use of substantial amounts of cash, potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, the occurrence of significant goodwill impairment charges, amortization expenses for other intangible assets and exposure to potential unknown liabilities of the acquired business. Moreover, the costs of identifying and consummating acquisitions may be significant. In addition to possible shareholders’ approval, we may also have to obtain approvals and licenses from relevant authorities for the acquisitions, which could result in increased delay and costs.

 

Our products may require availability of components or known technology from third parties and their non-availability can impede our growth.

 

We license/buy certain technology integral to our products from third parties, including open-source and commercially available software. Our inability to acquire and maintain any third-party product licenses or integrate the related third-party products into our products in compliance with license arrangements, could result in delays in product development until equivalent products can be identified, licensed, and integrated. We also expect to require new licenses in the future as our business grows and technology evolves. We cannot provide assurance that these licenses will continue to be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, if at all.

 

Our business is subject to the risk of catastrophic events such as pandemics, earthquakes, flooding, fire, and power outages, and to interruption by man-made problems such as acts of war and terrorism.

 

Our business is vulnerable to damage or interruption from pandemics, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, earthquakes, flooding, fire, power outages, telecommunications failures, terrorist attacks, acts of war, human errors, break-ins, and similar events. A significant natural disaster could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition, and our insurance coverage may be insufficient to compensate us for losses that may occur. Furthermore, acts of terrorism, which may be targeted at metropolitan areas that have higher population density than rural areas, could cause disruptions in our or our Publisher Partners’ businesses or the economy as a whole. Our technology infrastructure may also be vulnerable to computer viruses, break-ins, denial-of-service attacks, and similar disruptions from unauthorized tampering with our computer systems, which could lead to interruptions, delays, loss of critical data. We may not have sufficient protection or recovery plans in some circumstances, such as natural disasters affecting New York and other states where we have properties. As we rely heavily on our computer and communications systems and the Internet to conduct our business and provide high-quality user and customer service, these disruptions could negatively impact our ability to run our business and either directly or indirectly disrupt our Publisher Partners’ businesses, which could adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

 

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Compliance with the reporting obligations under the United States securities laws and Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“Sarbanes”) require expenditure of capital and other resources and may divert management’s attention. If we fail to comply with these reporting obligations or to maintain adequate internal control over financial reporting, our business, financial condition, and results of operations, and investors’ confidence in us, could be materially and adversely affected.

 

As a public company, we are required to comply with the periodic reporting obligations of the Exchange Act, Sarbanes and other applicable securities rules and regulations, including the preparation of annual reports, quarterly reports, and current reports. Complying with these rules and regulations have caused us and will continue to cause us to incur additional legal and financial compliance costs, make some activities more difficult, be time-consuming or costly, and continue to increase demand on our systems and resources. Further, by complying with public disclosure requirements, our business and financial condition are more visible, which we believe may result in the likelihood of increased threatened or actual litigation, including by competitors and other third parties. Compliance with these additional requirements may also divert management’s attention from operating our business. Any of these results may adversely affect our operating results.

 

If we fail to timely meet our reporting obligations under the Exchange Act, Sarbanes and other applicable securities rules and regulations in their entirety, we could be subject to penalties under federal securities laws and regulations of the NYSE American and face lawsuits, and our ability to access financing on favorable terms could be restricted severely. We will also not be able to obtain independent accountant certifications required for public companies under Sarbanes if we fail to or are unable to comply with Sarbanes. In addition, pursuant to Section 404 of Sarbanes, we are required to evaluate and provide a management report of our systems of internal control over financial reporting and our independent registered public accounting firm is required to annually audit the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with the year ended December 31, 2022, which has, and will continue to, require increased costs, expenses and management resources.

 

As discussed in Item 9A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, in the course of preparing our financial statements, we identified material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting related to (i) controls over segregation of duties consistent with control objectives related to our information technology general controls specifically as relates to change management and (ii) insufficient validation of non-Google impression data provided by certain third-party service providers. As a result of the identified material weaknesses, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2022. A material weakness is a deficiency, or combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. The material weaknesses identified in Item 9A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K did not result in any misstatement of our financial statements. Our management is currently evaluating remedial actions to address the material weaknesses identified as of December 31, 2022. However, our remediation efforts may be inadequate, or we may in the future discover material weaknesses in other areas of our internal control over financial reporting that require remediation.

 

We cannot assure you that the measures we have taken to date, and actions we may take in the future, will be sufficient to remediate the control deficiencies that led to the material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting or that they will prevent or avoid potential future material weaknesses. Any failure to maintain internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition or results of operations. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm determines we have a material weakness or significant deficiency in our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.

 

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If we fail to timely meet our reporting obligations under the Exchange Act, Sarbanes and other applicable securities rules and regulations in their entirety, we could be subject to penalties under federal securities laws and regulations of the NYSE American and face lawsuits, and our ability to access financing on favorable terms could be restricted severely. We will also not be able to obtain independent accountant certifications required for public companies under Sarbanes if we fail to or are unable to comply with Sarbanes. In addition, pursuant to Section 404 of Sarbanes, we are required to evaluate and provide a management report of our systems of internal control over financial reporting and our independent registered public accounting firm is required to annually audit the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting commencing with the year ended December 31, 2022, which has, and will continue to, require increased costs, expenses and management resources. During the evaluation and testing process of our internal controls, if we identify one or more material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting, we will be unable to certify that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. We cannot assure you that there will not be material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting in the future. Any failure to maintain internal control over financial reporting could severely inhibit our ability to accurately report our financial condition or results of operations. If we are unable to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting is effective, or if our independent registered public accounting firm determines we have a material weakness or significant deficiency in our internal control over financial reporting, we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, the market price of our common stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities. Failure to remedy any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting, or to implement or maintain other effective control systems required of public companies, could also restrict our future access to the capital markets.

 

Unfavorable economic and market conditions could adversely affect our business, reputation and results of operations.

 

Our services, products and properties are may be adversely impacted by uncertain economic conditions, including the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; the Ukraine – Russia conflict; adverse changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, tax laws or tax rates; inflation; a recession; contraction in the availability of credit in the marketplace due to legislation or other economic conditions, which may potentially impair our ability to access the capital markets on terms acceptable to us or at all; and the effects of government initiatives to manage economic conditions. Moreover, we cannot predict how future economic conditions will affect our users and Publisher Partners and any negative impact on our users or Publisher Partners may also have an adverse impact on our results of operations or financial condition. A severe or prolonged economic downturn, as result of a global pandemic such as the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, could result in a variety of risks to our business, including weakened demand for our products and services and our ability to raise additional capital when needed on favorable terms, if at all. Any of the foregoing could harm our business and we cannot anticipate all of the ways in which the current economic climate and financial market conditions could adversely impact our business.

 

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDEBTEDNESS, FINANCIAL CONDITION, AND INTERNAL CONTROL

 

As the general economic and market conditions present uncertainty as to our ability to secure additional capital, there can be no assurances that we will be able to secure additional financing on acceptable terms, or at all, as and when necessary to continue to conduct operations.

 

Our future liquidity and capital requirements will depend upon numerous factors, including the success of the Platform, our offerings, competing technological developments, and general economic and market conditions, which have presented substantial uncertainty in recent months. We may need to raise funds through public or private financings, strategic relationships, or other arrangements. There can be no assurance that such funding will be available on terms acceptable to us, or at all. Furthermore, any equity financing will be dilutive to existing stockholders, and debt financing, if available, may involve restrictive covenants that may limit our operating flexibility with respect to certain business matters. Strategic arrangements may require us to relinquish our rights or grant licenses to some or substantial parts of our intellectual property. If funds are raised through the issuance of equity securities, the percentage ownership of our stockholders will be reduced, stockholders may experience additional dilution in net book value per share, and such equity securities may have rights, preferences, or privileges senior to those of the holders of our existing capital stock. If adequate funds are not available on acceptable terms, we may not be able to continue operating, develop or enhance products, take advantage of future opportunities or respond to competitive pressures, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition.

 

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We have a history of losses.

 

In fiscal 2022, we had net loss of approximately $70,858 compared to approximately $89,940 in fiscal 2021. Our accumulated deficit as of December 31, 2022 was approximately $323,071. We may continue to incur losses in the future if we do not achieve sufficient revenue to achieve and maintain profitability. There is no assurance that our operations will generate sufficient cash flows to support our continued operations in the future without needing to seek additional capital funding or borrowings. We can provide no assurance that if we need to seek such additional outside capital that it will be available on favorable terms or at all. Any failure to achieve and maintain profitability could have a materially adverse effect on our ability to implement our business plan, our results and operations, and our financial condition.

 

Our results of operations may fluctuate significantly and may not meet our expectations or those of securities analysts and investors.

 

We operate in an evolving industry, and as a result, our business has evolved over time such that our operating history makes it difficult to evaluate our business and future prospects. Our results of operations have fluctuated in the past, and future results of operations are likely to fluctuate as well. Although we have experienced substantial revenue growth, we may not be able to sustain this growth rate or current revenue levels or achieve profitability. In addition, because our business is evolving, our historical results of operations may be of limited utility in assessing our future prospects. We expect to face challenges, risks, and difficulties frequently experienced by growing companies in rapidly developing industries, including those relating to:

 

  changes in demand and pricing for our products, services and the Platform;
  developing, maintaining, and expanding relationships with Publisher Partners and advertisers;
innovating and developing new solutions that are adopted by and meet the needs of Publisher Partners and advertisers;
  competing against companies with a larger user and customer base or greater financial or technical resources;
  changes in the pricing policies of Publisher Partners, advertisers and competitors;
  changes in our access to valuable user data;
  costs to develop and upgrade the Platform to incorporate new technologies;
costs related to the acquisition of businesses, talent, technologies, or intellectual property, including potentially significant amortization costs and possible write-downs;
  seasonality in our business;
  the length and complexity of our sales cycles;
  the timing of stock-based compensation expense;
  potential costs to attract, onboard, retain and motivate qualified personnel;
responding to evolving industry standards and government regulations that impact our business, particularly in the areas of data protection and consumer privacy;
changes in demand as a result of changes in the macroeconomic environment, as a result of inflation, changes in interest rates or foreign exchange rates, or otherwise; and
  further expanding our business in other markets.

 

Any one or more of the factors above may result in significant fluctuations in our results of operations. You should not rely on our past results as an indicator of our future performance.

 

Because many of our expenses are based upon forecast demand and may be difficult to reduce in the short term, volatility in quarterly revenue could cause significant variations in quarterly results of operations. We may not forecast our revenue or expenses accurately, which may cause our results of operations to diverge from our estimates or the expectations of securities analysts, and investors. If we fail to meet or exceed such expectations for these or any other reasons, the trading price of our common stock could fall, and we could face costly litigation, including securities class action lawsuits.

 

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Any future litigation against us could be costly and time-consuming to defend.

 

We have in the past and may in the future become subject to legal proceedings and claims or regulatory inquiries or proceedings that arise in the ordinary course of business, such as claims brought by our customers and partners in connection with commercial disputes, employment claims made by our current or former employees, or claims for reimbursement following misappropriation of customer data. For example, we could face claims relating to information that is published or made available on the Platform. In particular, the nature of our business exposes us to claims related to defamation, intellectual property rights and rights of publicity and privacy. We might not be able to monitor or edit a significant portion of the content that appears on the Platform. This risk is enhanced in certain jurisdictions outside the United States where our protection from liability for third-party actions may be unclear and where we may be less protected under local laws than we are in the United States. We could also face fines or orders restricting or blocking our services in particular geographies as a result of content hosted on our services. If any of these events occur, our business could be seriously harmed. Further, our employees are highly experienced, having worked in our industry for many years and. Prior employers may try to assert that our employees are breaching restrictive covenants and other limitations imposed by past employment arrangements. We believe that all of our employees are free to work for us in their various capacities and have not breached past employment arrangements. Notwithstanding our care in our employment practices, a prior employer may assert a claim. Such claims will be costly to contest, highly disruptive to our work environment, and may be detrimental to our operations.

 

Moreover, insurance might not cover any such claims that rise in the ordinary course of business, might not provide sufficient payments to cover all the costs to resolve one or more such claims, and might not continue to be available on terms acceptable to us. A claim brought against us that is uninsured or underinsured could result in unanticipated costs, thereby reducing our results of operations and leading analysts or potential investors to reduce their expectations of our performance, which could reduce the trading price of our common stock. Litigation might result in substantial costs and may divert management’s attention and resources, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and prospects.

 

Our ability to utilize our net operating loss carryforwards may be limited.

 

As of December 31, 2022, we had federal net operating loss carryforwards, or NOLs, due to prior period losses of $190,070, and the NOLs could expire before we generate sufficient taxable income to make use of our NOLs. Subject to certain limitations, NOLs can be used to offset taxable income for U.S. federal income tax purposes. However, Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, may limit the NOLs we may use in any year for U.S. federal income tax purposes in the event of certain changes in ownership of our Company. If an “ownership change” occurs, Section 382 would impose an annual limit on the amount of pre-ownership change NOLs and other tax attributes we can use to reduce our taxable income, potentially increasing and accelerating our liability for income taxes, and also potentially causing those tax attributes to expire unused. In addition, our ability to use our net operating losses is dependent on our ability to generate taxable income, and the net operating losses could expire before we generate sufficient taxable income to make use of our net operating losses.

 

RISKS RELATED TO GOVERNANCE

 

We are dependent on the continued services and on the performance of our key executive officers, management team, and other key personnel, the loss of which could adversely affect our business.

 

Our future success largely depends upon the continued services of our key executive officers, management team, and other key personnel. The loss of the services of any of such key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, and financial condition. We depend on the continued services of our key personnel as they work closely with both our employees and our Publisher Partners. Such key personnel are also responsible for our day-to-day operations. Although we have employment agreements with some of our key personnel, these are at-will employment agreements, albeit with non-competition and confidentiality provisions and other rights typically associated with employment agreements. We do not believe that any of our executive officers are planning to leave or retire in the near term; however, we cannot ensure that our executive officers or members of our management team will remain with us. We also depend on our ability to identify, attract, hire, train, retain, and motivate other highly skilled technical, managerial, sales, operational, business development, and customer service personnel. Competition for such personnel is intense, and there can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully attract, assimilate, or retain sufficiently qualified personnel. The loss or limitation of the services of any of our executive officers, members of our management team, or key personnel, including our regional and country managers, or the inability to attract and retain additional qualified key personnel, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations.

 

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The elimination of monetary liability against our directors, officers, and employees under Delaware law and the existence of indemnification rights for our obligations to our directors, officers, and employees may result in substantial expenditures by us and may discourage lawsuits against our directors, officers, and employees.

 

Our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended (our “Certificate of Incorporation”), and our Second Amended and Restated Bylaws (our “Bylaws”) contain provisions permitting us to eliminate the personal liability of our directors and officers to us and our stockholders for damages for the breach of a fiduciary duty as a director or officer to the extent provided by Delaware law. We may also have contractual indemnification obligations under any future employment agreements with our officers. The foregoing indemnification obligations could result in us incurring substantial expenditures to cover the cost of settlement or damage awards against directors and officers, which we may be unable to recoup. These provisions and the resulting costs may also discourage us from bringing a lawsuit against directors and officers for breaches of their fiduciary duties, and may similarly discourage the filing of derivative litigation by our stockholders against our directors and officers even through such actions, if successful, might otherwise benefit us and our stockholders.

 

Because we are a “smaller reporting company,” we will not be required to comply with certain disclosure requirements that are applicable to other public companies, and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to smaller reporting companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.

 

We are a “smaller reporting company,” as defined in Item 10(f)(1) of Regulation S-K. As a smaller reporting company, we are eligible for exemptions from various reporting requirements applicable to other public companies that are not smaller reporting companies, including, but not limited to reduced disclosure obligations, including with respect to executive compensation, in our periodic reports, proxy statements, and registration statements. We will continue to be a smaller reporting company if either (i) the market value of our stock held by non-affiliates is less than $250 million as of the prior June 30, or (ii) our annual revenue is less than $100 million during the most recently completed fiscal year and the market value of our stock held by non-affiliates is less than $700 million as of the prior June 30. We cannot predict if investors will find our common stock less attractive because we may rely on these exemptions. If some investors find our common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our common stock and our stock price may be more volatile.

 

Provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws and Delaware law may discourage a takeover attempt even if a takeover might be beneficial to our stockholders and limit our stockholders’ ability to obtain a favorable judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers and employees.

 

Provisions contained in our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us. Provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws impose various procedural and other requirements, which could make it more difficult for stockholders to affect certain corporate actions. For example, our Certificate of Incorporation authorizes our Board to determine the rights, preferences, privileges, and restrictions of unissued series of our Preferred Stock without any vote or action by our stockholders. Thus, our Board can authorize and issue shares of our Preferred Stock with voting or conversion rights that could dilute the voting power of holders of other series of our capital stock. These rights may have the effect of delaying or deterring a change of control of us. Additionally, our Certificate of Incorporation or Bylaws establish limitations on the removal of directors and include advance notice requirements for nominations for election to our Board and for proposing matters that can be acted upon at stockholder meetings.

 

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In addition, our Certificate of Incorporation provides that a state or federal court located within the state of Delaware will be the exclusive forum for: any derivative action or proceeding brought on our behalf; any action asserting a breach of fiduciary duty; any action asserting a claim against us arising pursuant to the DGCL, our Certificate of Incorporation, or our Bylaws; any action to interpret, apply, enforce, or determine the validity of our Certificate of Incorporation or our Bylaws; or any action asserting a claim against us that is governed by the internal affairs doctrine. This choice of forum provision may limit a stockholder’s ability to bring a claim in a judicial forum that it finds favorable for disputes with us or any of our directors, officers, or other employees, which may discourage lawsuits with respect to such claims. Alternatively, if a court were to find the choice of forum provision contained in our restated certificate of incorporation to be inapplicable or unenforceable in an action, we may incur additional costs associated with resolving such action in other jurisdictions, which could harm our business, operating results, and financial condition.

 

Moreover, because we are incorporated in Delaware, we are governed by the provisions of Section 203 of the Delaware General Corporation Law (“DGCL”), which prohibits an “interested stockholder” owning in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock from merging or combining with us for a period of three years after the date of the transaction in which such stockholder acquired in excess of 15% of our outstanding voting stock, unless the merger or combination is approved in a prescribed manner. These provisions could limit the price that certain investors might be willing to pay in the future for shares of our common stock.

 

Claims for indemnification by our directors and officers may reduce our available funds to satisfy successful third-party claims against us and may reduce the amount of money available to us.

 

Our Certificate of Incorporation provides that we will indemnify our directors and officers, in each case, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. In addition, Section 145 of the DGCL or our Certificate of Incorporation provides that:

 

We will indemnify our directors and officers for serving us in those capacities or for serving other business enterprises at our request, to the fullest extent permitted by Delaware law. Delaware law provides that a corporation may indemnify such person if such person acted in good faith and in a manner such person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe such person’s conduct was unlawful.
We may, in our discretion, indemnify employees and agents in those circumstances where indemnification is permitted by applicable law.
We are required to advance expenses, as incurred, to our directors and officers in connection with defending a proceeding, except that such directors or officers shall undertake to repay such advances if it is ultimately determined that such person is not entitled to indemnification.
The rights conferred in our Certificate of Incorporation are not exclusive, and we are authorized to enter into indemnification agreements with our directors, officers, employees, and agents and to obtain insurance to indemnify such persons.
We may not retroactively amend our Certificate of Incorporation or indemnification agreement, if any, to reduce our indemnification obligations to directors, officers, employees, and agents.

 

The trading price of the shares of our common stock has been and may continue to be volatile and could subject us to litigation.

 

Stocks of companies in the media and technology industries have historically experienced high levels of volatility. The trading price of our common stock has fluctuated substantially and may continue to do so. These fluctuations could cause you to incur substantial losses, including all of your investment in our common stock. Factors that could cause fluctuations in the trading price of our common stock, some of which are beyond our control and may not be related to our operational or financial performance, include, among others, the following:

 

price and volume fluctuations in the overall stock market from time to time;
announcements of new products, solutions or technologies, commercial relationships, acquisitions, or other events by us or our competitors;
the public’s reaction to our press releases, other public announcements, and filings with the SEC;

 

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fluctuations in the trading volume of our shares or the size of our public float, including in connection with an acquisition;
sales of large blocks of our common stock;
actual or anticipated changes or fluctuations in our results of operations or financial projections;
failure of securities analysts to initiate or maintain coverage of us, changes in financial estimates by any securities analysts who follow our company, or our failure to meet these estimates or the expectations of investors;
recruitment or departures of key personnel;
governmental or regulatory developments or actions, or litigation involving us, our industry, or both
general economic conditions and trends, including inflation and fluctuating interest rates;
general political conditions and trends, political instability and acts of war or terrorism, including the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine;
public health crises and related measures to protect the public health (such as the COVID-19 pandemic);
major catastrophic events in our domestic and foreign markets;
changes in accounting standards, policies, guidelines, interpretations, or principles; and
“flash crashes,” “freeze flashes,” or other glitches that disrupt trading on the securities exchange on which we are listed.

 

In addition, if the market for stock of media and technology companies or the stock market, in general, experiences a loss of investor confidence, the trading price of our common stock could decline for reasons unrelated to our business, results of operations, or financial condition. The trading price of our common stock might also decline in reaction to events that affect other companies in the media and technology industries even if these events do not directly affect us. In the past, following periods of volatility in the market price of a company’s securities, securities class action litigation has often been brought against that company. If litigation is instituted against us, it could subject us to substantial costs, divert management’s attention and resources, and adversely affect our business.

 

Our Board is authorized to issue additional shares of our common stock that would dilute existing stockholders and sales, distribution or issuance of substantial amounts of our common stock could cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

 

Our Board has the power to issue any or all authorized but unissued shares of our common stock at any price and, in respect of our preferred stock, at any price and with any attributes our Board considers sufficient, without stockholder approval. The issuance of additional shares of our common stock in the future will reduce the proportionate ownership and voting power of current stockholders and may negatively impact the market price of our common stock. Moreover, the sale or distribution of a substantial number of shares of our common stock, particularly sales by us or our directors, executive officers, and principal stockholders, or the perception that these sales or distributions might occur in large quantities, could cause the market price of our common stock to decline. In addition, shares subject to outstanding warrants as well as the shares of common stock subject to outstanding options and restricted stock unit awards under our equity incentive plans, and the shares reserved for future issuance under our equity incentive plans, will become eligible for sale in the public market upon issuance, subject to compliance with applicable securities laws. Further, we also may issue our capital stock or securities convertible into our capital stock, from time to time in connection with financing, an acquisition, investments, or otherwise. Any of the aforementioned activity, could result in substantial dilution to our existing stockholders and cause the market price of common stock to decline.

 

We may issue additional securities with rights superior to those of our common stock, which could materially limit the ownership rights of our stockholders.

 

We may offer additional debt or equity securities in private or public offerings in order to raise working capital or to refinance our debt. Our Board has the right to determine the terms and rights of any debt securities and preferred stock without obtaining the approval of our stockholders. It is possible that any debt securities or preferred stock that we sell would have terms and rights superior to those of our common stock and may be convertible into shares of our common stock. Any sale of securities could adversely affect the interests or voting rights of the holders of our common stock, result in substantial dilution to existing stockholders, or adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

 

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Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

Not Applicable.

 

Item 2. Properties

 

As of the end of fiscal 2022, we have leases in New Jersey and California. The space in Hoboken, New Jersey is occupied by The Spun. In Santa Monica, California we have a leased space which we sublet and a lease for office space that we do not occupy in Carlsbad, California. To the extent we need to lease physical properties in the future, we believe we would be able to find suitable properties at market rates.

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

From time to time, we may be subject to claims and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. We are not currently subject to any pending or threatened legal proceedings that we believe would reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosure

 

Not applicable.

 

Part II.

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

 

Market Information

 

Our common stock began trading on the NYSE American on February 9, 2022 under the symbol “AREN.” Before then, from September 21, 2021 until February 8, 2022, our common stock was quoted on the OTCM’s OTCQX trading under the symbol “MVEN.”

 

Holders

 

As of March 21, 2023, there were approximately 186 holders of record of our common stock. Since many of our shares of common stock are held by brokers and other institutions on behalf of stockholders, we are unable to estimate the total number of stockholders represented by these record holders.

 

Dividends

 

We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock, and our present policy is to retain any future earnings to support our operations and finance the growth and development of our business. We do not intend to pay cash dividends on our common stock for the foreseeable future. Any future determination related to our dividend policy will be made at the discretion of our Board.

 

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

 

None.

 

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

 

None.

 

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Use of Proceeds

 

None.

 

Item 6. [Reserved]

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

 

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements that are included elsewhere in this Annual Report. Our discussion includes forward-looking statements based upon current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties, such as our plans, objectives, expectations, and intentions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors. We use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “continuing,” “ongoing,” “expect,” “believe,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. All dollar figures are presented in thousands unless otherwise stated.

 

Overview

 

For an overview of the Company, see the information above presented under the section labeled “Item 1. Business,” which is in “Part I” of this Annual Report.

 

Key Operating Metrics

 

We monitor and review the key operating metrics described below as we believe that these metrics are relevant for our industry and specifically to us and to understanding our business. Moreover, they form the basis for trends informing certain predictions related to our financial condition. Our key operating metrics focus primarily on our digital advertising revenue, which has experienced significant growth in recent periods as indicated in the Results of Operations section below. Management monitors and reviews these metrics because such metrics are readily measurable in real time and can provide valuable insight into the performance of and trends related to our digital advertising revenue and our overall business. We consider only those key operating metrics described here to be material to our financial condition, results of operations and future prospects.

 

Our key operating metrics are identified below:

 

Revenue per page view (“RPM”) – represents the advertising revenue earned per 1,000 pageviews. It is calculated as our advertising revenue during a period divided by our total page views during that period and multiplied by $1,000; and
Monthly average pageviews – represents the total number of pageviews in a given month or the average of each month’s pageviews in a fiscal quarter or year, which is calculated as the total number of page views recorded in a quarter or year divided by three months or 12 months, respectively.

 

For pricing indicators, we focus on RPM as it is the pricing metric most closely aligned with monthly average pageviews. RPM is an indicator of yield and pricing driven by both advertising density and demand from our advertisers.

 

Monthly average pageviews are measured across all properties hosted on the Platform and provide us with insight into volume, engagement and effective page management and are therefore our primary measure of traffic. We utilize a third-party source, Google Analytics, to confirm this traffic data.

 

As described above, these key operating metrics are critical for management as they provide insights into our digital advertising revenue generation and overall business performance. This information also provides feedback on the content on our website and its ability to attract and engage users, which allows us to make strategic business decisions designed to drive more users to read or view more of our content and generate higher advertising revenue across all properties hosted on the Platform.

 

For the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 our RPM was $17.24 and $15.24, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 our monthly average pageviews were 516,129,297 and 350,761,233, respectively.

 

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Impact of Current Global Economic Conditions

 

Uncertainty in the global economy presents significant risks to our business. We are subject to continuing risks and uncertainties in connection with the current macroeconomic environment, including inflation, rising interest rates and contraction in the availability of credit in the market place, geopolitical factors, including the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the responses thereto, and the remaining effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely monitoring the impact of these factors on all aspects of our business, including the impacts on our users, customers, employees, Publishers Partners, vendors and business partners.

 

In particular, with the initial onset of COVID-19, we faced significant change in our advertisers’ buying behavior. Since May 2020, there has been a steady recovery in the advertising market in both pricing and volume, which coupled with the return of professional and college sports yielded steady growth in revenues. However, given that our sports vertical business relies on sporting events to generate content and comprises a material portion of our revenues, our cash flows and results of operations are susceptible to a widespread cancellation of sporting events or a general limitation of societal activity akin to what occurred in the United States and elsewhere during 2020. Future widespread shutdowns of in-person economic activity could have a material impact on our business. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused supply chain inefficiencies, negatively impacting our production and distribution costs in our print operations.

 

The ultimate extent of the impact of global economic conditions on our business remains highly uncertain and will depend on future developments and factors that continue to evolve. Most of these developments and factors are outside of our control and could exist for an extended period of time. As a result, we are subject to continuing risks and uncertainties and continue to closely monitor the impact of the current conditions on our business. For more information regarding these risks and uncertainties, see the section titled “Risk Factors” in Part 1, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Cash and Working Capital Facility

 

As of December 31, 2022, our principal sources of liquidity consisted of cash of $13,871. In addition, as of December 31, 2022, we had $25,908 available for additional use, subject to eligible accounts receivable, under our working capital line of credit with SLR Digital Finance LLC (formerly FPP Finance LLC) (“SLR”). As December 31, 2022, the outstanding balance of the SLR working capital line of credit was $14,092. We also had accounts receivable, net of our advances from SLR of $19,858 as of December 31, 2022. Our cash balance as of the issuance date of our accompanying consolidated financial statements is $8,203.

 

Our accompanying consolidated financial statements have been presented on the basis that we are a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. We had revenues of $220,935 during fiscal 2022 and have experienced recurring net losses from operations and negative operating cash flows. Consequently, we were dependent upon continued access to funding and capital resources from both new investors and related parties. If continued funding and capital resources are unavailable at reasonable terms, we may not be able to implement our growth plan and plan of operations. These financings may include terms that may be highly dilutive to existing stockholders.

 

We continue to be focused on growing our existing operations and seeking accretive and complementary strategic acquisitions as part of our growth strategy. We believe, that with additional sources of liquidity and the ability to raise additional capital or incur additional indebtedness to supplement our internal projections, we will be able to execute our growth plan and finance our working capital requirements both in the short-term and long-term.

 

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Going Concern

 

Management performed an annual reporting period going concern assessment. We are required to assess our ability to continue as a going concern. Our accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared assuming that we will continue as a going concern, which contemplates the realization of assets and the liquidation of liabilities in the normal course of business. Our accompanying consolidated financial statements do not include any adjustments that might be necessary if we are unable to continue as a going concern.

 

Most recently, for the year ended December 31, 2022, we incurred a net loss from continuing operations of $67,388, had cash on hand of $13,871 and a working capital deficit of $137,669. Our net loss from continuing operations and working capital deficit have been evaluated by management to determine if the significance of those conditions or events would limit our ability to meet our obligations when due. Furthermore, since our Bridge Notes of $36,000, Senior Secured Notes of $62,691 and Delayed Draw Term Notes of $4,000, totaling $102,691  (collectively “our current debt”) are due by December 31, 2023 (see Note 19, Bridge Notes, and Note 20, Long-term Debt, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements), unless we are able to refinance or extend our current debt beyond its current maturity, we may not be able to meet our obligations when due.

 

In our evaluation, management determined there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a one-year period following the financial statement issuance date, unless we are able to refinance or extend the maturities of our current debt.

 

We plan to refinance or extend the maturities of our current debt to alleviate the conditions that raise substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern.

 

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Debt Financings and Obligations

 

Net proceeds from our debt financings (see Note 15, Line of Credit, Note 19, Bridge Notes and Note 20, Long-term Debt, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional information) consisted of the following:

 

SLR Credit Facility. We are party to a financing and security agreement with SLR, pursuant to which SLR extended a $25,000 line of credit for working capital purposes secured by a first lien on all our cash and accounts receivable and a second lien on all other assets. On December 15, 2022, pursuant to an amendment, the line of credit was increased to $40,000. Borrowings under the facility bear interest at the prime rate plus 4% per annum of the amount advanced and have a maturity date of December 31, 2024; provided that the maturity date will be December 31, 2023 if we have not refinanced, repaid or extended all of our Senior Secured Notes (as defined below) due December 31, 2023 by August 31, 2023, and provided further, that SLR will be entitled to accelerate the obligations if we have not refinanced, repaid or extended all of our Senior Secured Notes due December 31, 2023 by September 30, 2023. In the event that our line of credit is accelerated, we will be obligated to pay SLR a termination fee of $900. The amendment also permitted us to enter into the Bridge Notes (as defined below). The aggregate principal amount outstanding, plus accrued and unpaid interest as of December 31, 2022 was $14,092.

 

Bridge Notes. On December 15, 2022, we issued $36,000 aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes (the “Bridge Notes”) pursuant to a Third A&R NPA with BRF Finance Co., LLC (“BRF Finance”), an affiliated entity of B. Riley Financial, Inc. (“B. Riley”), in its capacity as agent for the purchasers and as purchaser. We received net proceeds of $34,728, after the payment of $1,000 to B. Riley for an advisory fee and $272 for other legal costs, from the issuance of the Bridge Notes. Interest on the Bridge Notes is payable in cash at a rate of 12% per annum quarterly in arrears on March 31, 2023, June 30, 2023, September 30, 2023 and December 31, 2023; provided that, on March 1, 2023, May 1, 2023 and July 1, 2023, the interest rate on the Bridge Notes will increase by 1.5% per annum, with maturity on December 31, 2023. The Bridge Notes are subject to certain mandatory prepayment requirements, including, but not limited to, a requirement that we apply the net proceeds from certain debt incurrences or equity offerings to repay the Bridge Notes. We may elect to prepay the Bridge Notes, at any time, at our option at 100% of the principal amount. The Bridge Notes are secured by liens on the same collateral that secures indebtedness under our outstanding Senior Secured Notes (as defined below) and are guaranteed by our subsidiaries that guarantee the Third A&R NPA. The Note Purchase Agreement contains covenants and events of default substantially similar to those contained in the note purchase agreement that governed the Third A&R NPA. The proceeds received were used for the acquisition of Men’s Journal and to repay $5,928 of our existing Delayed Draw Term Notes (as defined below). The aggregate principal amount outstanding under the Bridge Notes as of December 31, 2022 was $36,000.

 

Senior Secured Notes. We are party to a third amended and restated note purchase agreement (the “Third A&R NPA”), with one accredited investor, BRF Finance, an affiliated entity of B. Riley. The senior secured notes bears interest at a rate of 10% per annum. Interest payments are payable at BRF Finance’s discretion either in cash quarterly in arrears on the last day of each quarter or by adding the interest to the outstanding principal amount. The senior secured notes has a final maturity date of December 31, 2023, at which time the outstanding principal and all accrued but unpaid interest will be due. The balance outstanding under our senior secured notes as of December 31, 2022 was $62,691, which included outstanding principal of $48,791 and payment of in-kind interest of $13,900 that we were permitted to add to the aggregate outstanding principal balance.

 

Delayed Draw Term Notes. Pursuant to the Third A&R NPA, we agreed to issue, at BRF Finance’s option, a delayed draw term notes (the “Delayed Draw Term Notes”), in the aggregate principal amount of $12,000 to BRF Finance, of which $9,928 was outstanding on December 31, 2021. The Delayed Draw Term Notes bear interest at a rate of 10% per annum. Interest payments are payable, at BRF Finance’s discretion, either in cash quarterly in arrears on the last day of each fiscal quarter or in kind in arrears on the last day of each fiscal quarter. The Delayed Draw Term Notes have a final maturity date of December 31, 2023, at which time the outstanding principal and accrued but unpaid interest will be due. We paid $5,928 in principal that was due on December 31, 2022, with the remaining principal balance due on December 31, 2023. The aggregate principal amount outstanding under the Bridge Notes as of December 31, 2022 was $4,000.

 

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Acquisition

 

On January 11, 2023, we entered into an asset purchase agreement with Teneology, Inc., pursuant to which we acquired certain assets (consisting of the RoadFood media business, including digital and television assets; the Moveable Feast media business, including digital and television assets; the Fexy-branded content studio business; and the MonkeySee YouTube Channel media business), for a purchase price of $2,956. The purchase price consisted of the following: (1) $500 cash paid at closing; (2) $75 cash payments due in three equal installments of $25 on March 1, 2023, April 1, 2023 and May 1, 2023; (3) $200 deferred cash payment due on the first anniversary of the closing date, subject to certain indemnity provisions; and (4) the issuance of 274,692 shares of our common stock, subject to certain lock-up provisions, on the closing date with a fair value of $2,181 (fair value was determined based on our common stock trading price of $7.94 per share on the closing date). The number of shares of our common stock issued was determined based on a $2,225 value using our common stock trading price on the day immediately preceding the January 11, 2023 closing date.

 

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

As of December 31, 2022, pursuant to our line of credit with SLR, as disclosed above, in the event that our line of credit is accelerated, we will be obligated to pay SLR a termination fee of $900.

 

Material Contractual Obligations

 

We have material contractual obligations that arise in the normal course of business primarily consisting of employment contracts, consulting agreements, leases, liquidated damages, debt and related interest payments. Purchase obligations consist of contracts primarily related to merchandise, equipment, and third-party services, the majority of which are due in the next 12 months. See Note 8, Leases, Note 16, Liquidated Damages Payable, Note 19 , Bridge Notes, and Note 20, Long-term Debt, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements for amounts outstanding as of December 31, 2022, related to leases, liquidated damages, bridge financing and long-term debt.

 

During 2022, we assumed the lease from Men’s Journal for office space in Carlsbad, California, that expires in March 2025, and we remain responsible for $3,189 over the lease term. The lease provides for fixed payments of $89 for three months, $92 for twelve months and $94 for twelve months, with an estimate of common expenses per month of $25 through the end of the lease term.

 

With respect to leases, we subleased our office space in Santa Monica, California in November 2021 and remain responsible to the original lessor for $948 through October 2024. Pursuant to the sublease, the sublessee will pay us an aggregate of $477 through October 2024.

 

During 2021, we entered into a termination agreement of our sublease agreement for a property located in New York, New York and remain responsible for $8,000 in cash payments to the sublandlord through October 2024.

 

Working Capital Deficit

 

We have financed our working capital requirements since inception through issuances of equity securities and various debt financings. Our working capital deficit as of December 31, 2022 and 2021 was as follows:

 

  

As of December 31,

 
   2022   2021 
Current assets  $78,695   $77,671 
Current liabilities   (216,364)   (116,413)
Working capital deficit   (137,669)   (38,742)

 

As of December 31, 2022, we had a working capital deficit of $137,669, as compared to $38,742 as of December 31, 2021, consisting of $78,695 in total current assets and $216,364 in total current liabilities. As of December 31, 2021, our working capital deficit consisted of $77,671 in total current assets and $116,413 in total current liabilities.

 

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Our cash flows during the years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 consisted of the following:

 

  

Years Ended December 31,

 
   2022   2021 
Net cash used in operating activities  $(11,304)  $(14,729)
Net cash used in investing activities   (38,590)   (13,146)
Net cash provided by financing activities   54,416    28,191 
Net (decrease) increase in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash  $4,522   $316 
Cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash, end of year  $14,373   $9,851 

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, net cash used in operating activities was $11,304, consisting primarily of $219,282 of cash paid to employees, Publisher Partners, expert contributors, suppliers, and vendors, and for revenue share arrangements, advance of royalty fees and professional services; and $9,528 of cash paid for interest, offset by $219,407 of cash received from customers. For the year ended December 31, 2021, net cash used in operating activities was $14,729, consisting primarily of $184,932 of cash paid to employees, Publisher Partners, expert contributors, suppliers, and vendors, and for revenue share arrangements, advance of royalty fees and professional services; and $1,393 of cash paid for interest, offset by $171,596 of cash received from customers.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, net cash used in investing activities was $38,590, consisting primarily of $35,331 for the acquisition of a business; $5,179 for capitalized costs for our Platform; and $530 for property and equipment, offset by $2,450 from the sale of an equity investment. For the year ended December 31, 2021, net cash used in investing activities was $13,146, consisting primarily of $7,950 for the acquisition of businesses; $4,819 for capitalized costs for our Platform; and $377 for property and equipment.

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, net cash provided by financing activities was $54,416, consisting primarily of $30,490 (net of issuance costs paid of $1,568) in net proceeds from a public offering of common stock; $28,800 (net of issuance costs paid of $1,272 and payments of $5,928) in proceeds from long term-debt; $2,104 from advancements of our SLR line of credit; and $95 from exercises of common stock options, offset by $4,468 for tax payments relating to the withholding of shares of common stock for certain employees; $2,152 related to payments of restricted stock liabilities; and $453 payment for The Spun deferred cash payment. For the year ended December 31, 2021, net cash provided by financing activities was $28,191 consisting primarily of $19,838 (net of issuance cost paid of $167) in net proceeds from a private placement of common stock; $5,086 in proceeds from long term-debt; $4,809 from advancements of our SLR line of credit, offset by $1,472 related to payments of restricted stock liabilities; and $70 for tax payments relating to the withholding of shares of common stock for certain employees.

 

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Results of Operations

 

Comparison of Fiscal 2022 to Fiscal 2021

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Revenue  $220,935   $189,140   $31,795    16.8%
Cost of revenue   132,923    110,530    22,393    20.3%
Gross profit   88,012    78,610    9,402    12.0%
Operating expenses                    
Selling and marketing   72,489    81,929    (9,440)   -11.5%
General and administrative   53,499    55,612    (2,113)   -3.8%
Depreciation and amortization   17,650    16,345    1,305    8.0%
Loss on disposition of assets   257    1,192    (935)   -78.4%
Loss on impairment of lease   -    466    (466)   -100.0%
Loss on termination of lease   -    7,345    (7,345)   -100.0%
Total operating expenses   143,895    162,889    (18,994)   -11.7%
Loss from operations   (55,883)   (84,279)   28,396    -33.7%
Total other expenses   (12,568)   (7,335)   (5,233)   71.3%
Loss before income taxes   (68,451)   (91,614)   23,163    -25.3%
Income tax benefit   1,063    1,674    (611)   -36.5%
Net loss from continuing operations   (67,388)   (89,940)   22,552    -25.1%
Net loss from discontinued operations, net of tax   (3,470)   -    (3,470)   100.0%
Net loss  $(70,858)  $(89,940)  $19,082    -21.2%
Basic and diluted net loss per common share:                    
Continued operations  $(3.82)  $(7.87)  $4.05    -51.5%
Discontinued operations   (0.20)   -    (0.20)   100.0%
Basic and diluted net loss per common share  $(4.02)  $(7.87)  $3.85    -48.9%
Weighted average number of shares outstanding – basic and diluted   17,625,619    11,429,740        

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, the net loss was $70,858, as compared to $89,940 in the prior year which represents an improvement of $19,082 or 21.2%. The primary reasons for the improvement in net loss are a $9,402 improvement in gross profit and a $18,994 reduction in operating expenses. The increase in gross profit reflected a $31,795 increase in total revenues, which was principally driven by the continuing growth of our digital advertising business which grew $46,452 or 73.9% in the year ended December 31, 2022 as compared to the prior year.

 

Revenue

 

The following table sets forth revenue, cost of revenue, and gross profit from continuing operations:

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Revenue  $220,935   $189,140   $31,795    16.8%
Cost of revenue   132,923    110,530    22,393    20.3%
Gross profit  $88,012   $78,610   $9,402    12.0%

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, we had gross profit of $88,012, as compared to gross profit of $78,610 for year ended December 31, 2021.

 

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The following table sets forth revenue from continuing operations by category:

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Digital revenue:                    
Digital advertising  $109,317   $62,865   $46,452    73.9%
Digital subscriptions   21,156    29,629    (8,473)   -28.6%
Licensing and syndication revenue   18,173    8,471    9,702    114.5%
Other digital revenue   1,166    43    1,123    2611.6%
Total digital revenue   149,812    101,008    48,804    48.3%
Print revenue:                    
Print advertising   10,214    9,051    1,163    12.8%
Print subscriptions   60,909    79,081    (18,172)   -23.0%
Total print revenue   71,123    88,132    (17,009)   -19.3%
Total revenue  $220,935   $189,140   $31,795    16.8%

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022 we recognized revenue from continuing operations of $220,935, as compared to $189,140 for the year ended December 31, 2021, which represents an increase of $31,795 or 16.8%. Our digital advertising revenue increased by $46,452 or 73.9%, primarily due to a 47.1% increase in monthly average pageviews and a 13.1% increase in RPM for the year ended December 31, 2022, as compared to the prior year with 76.0% of the total increase driven by organic growth. Licensing and syndication revenue increased by $9,702 or 114.5% as we added new relationships during the year and expanded existing ones to leverage our content with increased monetization. Other digital revenue, primarily consisting of e-commerce and sponsorship revenue, increased by $1,123 largely attributable to the expansion of our e-commerce business. Our print subscriptions decreased by $18,172 or 23.0% principally related to our Sports Illustrated media business which reflected our planned rate base reduction of 29.0% from 1.7 million fiscal 2021 to 1.2 million in fiscal 2022 to focus on more profitable subscriptions.

 

Cost of Revenue

 

The following table sets forth cost of revenue from continuing operations by category:

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Publisher Partner revenue share payments  $20,108   $21,568   $(1,460)   -6.8%
Technology, Platform and software licensing fees   18,294    9,970    8,324    83.5%
Royalty fees   15,000    15,000    -    0.0%
Content and editorial expenses   44,669    32,850    11,819    36.0%
Printing, distribution and fulfillment costs   14,835    14,757    78    0.5%
Amortization of developed technology and platform development   9,459    8,829    630    7.1%
Stock-based compensation   10,235    7,478    2,757    36.9%
Other cost of revenue   323    78    245    314.1%
Total cost of revenue  $132,923   $110,530   $22,393    20.3%

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, as referenced in the above table, we recognized cost of revenue from continuing operations of $132,923, as compared to $110,530 for the year ended December 31, 2021, which represents an increase of $22,393 or 20.3% from the prior period. Cost of revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022 was impacted by increases in content and editorial expenses of $11,819; technology, Platform and software licensing fees of $8,324, consisting of costs incurred for the Parade acquisition and other investments made to our Platform; and stock-based compensation of $2,757; partially offset by a decrease in Publisher Partner revenue share payments of $1,460. The increase in content and editorial expense was primarily due to significant investments made in the second half of fiscal 2021 to expand our audience development and social media capabilities, in addition to the acquisition of Parade which occurred in the second quarter of 2022. Publisher Partner revenue share payments have decreased despite a growth in our digital advertising revenue due primarily to a favorable change in the terms of certain of our Publisher Partner agreements. This resulted in a more favorable revenue share structure for us, especially as we continue to grow our premium programmatic and direct advertising revenue as a percentage of total digital revenue. In addition, the decrease was also in part due to the expiration of our agreement with Jim Cramer in September 2021.

 

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Operating Expenses

 

Selling and Marketing

 

The following table sets forth selling and marketing expenses from continuing operations by category:

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Payroll and employee benefits of selling and marketing account management support teams  $14,467   $12,746   $1,721    13.5%
Stock-based compensation   2,772    5,376    (2,604)   -48.4%
Professional marketing services   4,528    3,100    1,428    46.1%
Circulation costs   5,006    4,144    862    20.8%
Subscription acquisition costs   37,190    46,264    (9,074)   -19.6%
Advertising costs   5,987    6,962    (975)   -14.0%
Other selling and marketing expenses   2,539    3,337    (798)   -23.9%
Total selling and marketing  $72,489   $81,929   $(9,440)   -11.5%

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, as referenced in the above table, we incurred selling and marketing expenses from continuing operations of $72,489 as compared to $81,929 for the year ended December 31, 2021, a decrease of $9,440 or 11.5% from the prior period. The decrease in selling and marketing expenses of $9,440 was primarily due to decreases in subscription acquisition costs of $9,074 and stock-based compensation of $2,604. Partially offsetting these decreases, payroll and employee benefits of selling and marketing account management support teams increased $1,721 and circulation costs grew by $862, both of which were a result of the addition of the Parade properties, which were acquired in the second quarter of 2022. The decrease in subscription acquisition costs was due to the previously mentioned 29.0% decrease in the Sports Illustrated rate base.

 

General and Administrative

 

The following table sets forth general and administrative expenses from continuing operations by category:

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Payroll and related expenses for executive and administrative personnel  $15,800   $17,521   $(1,721)   -9.8%
Stock-based compensation   18,338    17,639    699    4.0%
Professional services, including accounting, legal and insurance   13,364    13,548    (184)   -1.4%
Other general and administrative expenses   5,997    6,904    (907)   -13.1%
Total general and administrative  $53,499   $55,612   $(2,113)   -3.8%

 

For the year ended December 31, 2022, as referenced in the above table, we incurred general and administrative expenses from continuing operations of $53,499 as compared to $55,612 for the year ended December 31, 2021, a decrease of $2,113 or 3.8% from the prior period. The decrease is primarily related to $1,721 of payroll and related expenses which reflected a decrease in certain personnel costs offset by the acquisition of Parade which occurred in the second quarter of 2022.

 

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Other (Expenses) Income

 

The following table sets forth other (expenses) income:

 

   Years Ended December 31,   2022 versus 2021 
   2022   2021   $ Change   % Change 
Change in valuation of warrant derivative liabilities  $-   $34   $(34)   -100.0%
Interest expense, net   (11,428)   (10,449)   (979)   9.4%
Liquidated damages   (1,140)   (2,637)   1,497    -56.8%
Gain upon debt extinguishment   -    5,717    (5,717)   -100.0%
Total other expenses  $(12,568)  $(7,335)  $(5,233)   71.3%

 

Interest Expense. We incurred interest expense, net of $11,428 for the year ended December 31, 2022, as compared to $10,449 for the year ended December 31, 2021. The increase in interest expense of $979 was primarily from additional cash paid for interest from our debt.

 

Liquidated Damages. We recorded liquidated damages of $1,140 for the year ended December 31, 2022, as compared to $2,637 for the year ended December 31, 2021. The liquidated damages recorded of $1,140 for the year ended December 31, 2022 primarily resulted from additional liquidated damages assessed under certain agreements as a result of filing a registration statement outside of the agreed upon filing deadline and recording interest expense on the balance that remains outstanding.

 

Gain Upon Debt Extinguishment. We recorded a gain upon debt extinguishment (including accrued interest) of $5,717 for the year ended December 31, 2021 pursuant to the forgiveness of the Payroll Protection Program Loan.

 

Income Tax Benefit

 

Income Tax Benefit. For the year ended December 31, 2022, we recorded a deferred income tax benefit of $1,063 primarily related to our acquired deferred tax liabilities from an acquisition during the year and change in valuation allowance as of year-end that was, in part, offset by the book to tax basis differences related to goodwill from certain prior year acquisitions. For the year ended December 31, 2021, we recorded a deferred income tax benefit of $1,674 primarily related to our acquired deferred tax liabilities from an acquisition during the year and change in valuation allowance as of year-end that was, in part, offset by the book to tax basis differences related to goodwill from certain prior year acquisitions.

 

For further details refer to Note 25, Income Taxes, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements.

 

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

 

We report our financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (“GAAP”); however, management believes that certain non-GAAP financial measures provide users of our financial information with useful supplemental information that enables a better comparison of our performance across periods. We believe Adjusted EBITDA provides visibility to the underlying continuing operating performance by excluding the impact of certain items that are noncash in nature or not related to our core business operations. We calculate Adjusted EBITDA as net loss as adjusted for loss from discontinued operations, with additional adjustments for (i) interest expense (net), (ii) income taxes, (iii) depreciation and amortization, (iv) stock-based compensation, (v) change in derivative valuations, (vi) liquidated damages, (vii) gain upon debt extinguishment, (viii) loss on impairment of assets; (x) loss on impairment of lease, (ix) loss on lease termination, (xi) professional and vendor fees, and (xii) employee restructuring payments.

 

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Our non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to a similarly titled measure used by other companies, has limitations as an analytical tool, and should not be considered in isolation, or as a substitute for analysis of our operating results as reported under GAAP. Additionally, we do not consider our non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA as superior to, or a substitute for, the equivalent measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Some of the limitations is that Adjusted EBITDA:

 

does not reflect interest expense and financing fees, or the cash required to service our debt, which reduces cash available to us;
does not reflect deferred income tax benefit or provision, which is a noncash income or expense;
 does not reflect depreciation and amortization expense and, although this is a noncash expense, the assets being depreciated may have to be replaced in the future, increasing our cash requirements;
 does not reflect stock-based compensation and, therefore, does not include all of our compensation costs;
does not reflect the change in derivative valuations and, although this is a noncash income or expense, the change in the valuations each reporting period are not impacted by our actual business operations but is instead strongly tied to the change in the market value of our common stock;
does not reflect liquidated damages and, therefore, does not include future cash requirements if we repay the liquidated damages in cash instead of shares of our common stock (which the investor would need to agree to);
does not reflect any gains upon debt extinguishment, which we do not consider in our evaluation of our business operations;
 does not reflect any losses from the impairment of assets, which is a noncash operating expense;
does not reflect any losses on impairment of leases, which is a noncash operating expense;
does not reflect any losses on termination of our leases, which is a noncash operating expense;
does not reflect the professional and vendor fees incurred by us for services provided by consultants, accountants, lawyers, and other vendors, which services were related to certain types of events that are not reflective of our business operations; and
does not reflect payments related to employee severance, which were a cash expense but are not reflective of our business operations.

 

The following table presents a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net loss, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure, for the periods indicated:

 

   Years Ended December 31, 
   2022   2021 
Net loss  $(70,858)  $(89,940)
Loss from discontinued operations, net of tax   3,470    - 
Loss from continuing operations   (67,388)   (89,940)
Add (deduct):          
Interest expense, net (1)   11,428    10,449 
Income tax benefit   (1,063)   (1,674)
Depreciation and amortization (2)   27,109    25,174 
Stock-based compensation (3)   31,345    30,493 
Change in derivative valuations   -    (34)
Liquidated damages (4)   1,140    2,637 
Gain upon debt extinguishment (5)   -    (5,717)
Loss on impairment of assets (6)   257    1,192 
Loss on impairment of lease (7)   -    466 
Loss on lease termination (8)   -    7,345 
Professional and vendor fees (9)   -    6,901 
Employee restructuring payments (10)   273    645 
Adjusted EBITDA  $3,101   $(12,063)

 

(1) Interest expense is related to our capital structure and varies over time due to a variety of financing transactions. Interest expense includes $1,581 and $2,106 for amortization of debt discounts for the year ended December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, as presented in our condensed consolidated statements of cash flows, which are a noncash item. Investors should note that interest expense will recur in future periods.

 

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(2)Represents depreciation and amortization related to our developed technology and Platform included within cost of revenues of $9,459 and $8,829, for the years ending December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively, and depreciation and amortization included within operating expenses of $17,650 and $16,345 for the years ending December 31, 2022 and 2021, respectively. We believe (i) the amount of depreciation and amortization expense in any specific period may not directly correlate to the underlying performance of our business operations and (ii) such expenses can vary significantly between periods as a result of new acquisitions and full amortization of previously acquired tangible and intangible assets. Investors should note that the use of tangible and intangible assets contributed to revenue in the periods presented and will contribute to future revenue generation and should also note that such expense will recur in future periods.
(3)Represents noncash costs arising from the grant of stock-based awards to employees, consultants and directors. We believe that excluding the effect of stock-based compensation from Adjusted EBITDA assists management and investors in making period-to-period comparisons in our operating performance because (i) the amount of such expenses in any specific period may not directly correlate to the underlying performance of our business operations, and (ii) such expenses can vary significantly between periods as a result of the timing of grants of new stock-based awards, including grants in connection with acquisitions. Additionally, we believe that excluding stock-based compensation from Adjusted EBITDA assists management and investors in making meaningful comparisons between our operating performance and the operating performance of other companies that may use different forms of employee compensation or different valuation methodologies for their stock-based compensation. Investors should note that stock-based compensation is a key incentive offered to employees whose efforts contributed to the operating results in the periods presented and are expected to contribute to operating results in future periods. Investors should also note that such expenses will recur in the future.
(4)Represents damages (or interest expense related to accrued liquidated damages) we owe to certain of our investors in private placements offerings conducted in fiscal years 2018 through 2020, pursuant to which we agreed to certain covenants in the respective securities purchase agreements and registration rights agreements, including the filing of resale registration statements and becoming current in our reporting obligations, which we were not able to timely meet.
(5)Represents a gain upon extinguishment of the Paycheck Protection Program Loan.
 (6)Represents our impairment of certain assets that are no longer useful.
(7)Represents our impairment of certain leased property that is no longer being used.
(8)Represents our loss related to the surrender and termination of our lease of office space located in New York based on our decision to no longer lease office space.
(9)Represents one-time, non-recurring third party professional and vendor fees recorded in connection with services provided by consultants, accountants, lawyers, and other vendors (these fees are collectively referred to as “Professional Fees”) related to (i) the preparation of periodic reports in order for us to become current on our Exchange Act reporting obligations, (ii) up-list to a national exchange, (iii) contemplated and completed acquisitions, (iv) public and private offerings of our securities and other financings, and (v) stockholder disputes and the implementation of our Rights Agreement (the Rights Agreement is further described in Note 21, Preferred Stock, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements).

 

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The table below summarizes the costs defined above that we incurred during fiscal 2022 and 2021:

 

     Years Ended December 31, 
Category  2022   2021 
(i) Catch-up periodic reports  $-   $4,096 
(ii) Up-list   -    231 
(iii) Mergers and acquisitions   -    1,034 
(iv) Public and private offerings and other financings   -    444 
(v) Stockholder disputes and Rights Agreement   -    1,096 
Totals  $     -   $6,901 

 

(10)Represents severance payments to our former Chief Executive Officer for the years ending December 31, 2022 and 2021.

 

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

 

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reported periods. The more critical accounting estimates include estimates related to revenue recognition, platform development, impairment of long-lived assets, and stock-based compensation. We also have other key accounting policies, which involve the use of estimates, judgments and assumptions that are significant to understanding our results, which are described in Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements.

 

Our discussion and analysis of the financial condition and results of operations is based upon our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Annual Report, which have been prepared in accordance with GAAP. We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of the financial statements. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

 

Revenue

 

In accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, revenues are recognized when control of the promised goods or services are transferred to our customers, in an amount that reflects the consideration that we expect to receive in exchange for those goods or services. We generate all of our revenue from contracts with customers. We account for revenue on a gross basis, as compared to a net basis, in our statement of operations. We have made this determination based on our control of the advertising inventory and the ability to monetize the advertising inventory or publications before transfer to the customer and because we are also the primary obligor responsible for providing the services to the customer. Cost of revenues is presented as a separate line item in the statement of operations.

 

The following is a description of the principal activities from which we generate revenue:

 

Advertising Revenue

 

Digital Advertising. We recognize revenue from digital advertisements at the point when each ad is viewed. The quantity of advertisements, the impression bid prices, and revenue are reported on a real-time basis. We enter into contracts with advertising networks to serve display or video advertisements on the digital media pages associated with its various channels. Although reported advertising transactions are subject to adjustment by the advertising network partners, any such adjustments are known within a few days of month end. We owe our independent Publisher Partners a revenue share of the advertising revenue earned, which is recorded as service costs in the same period in which the associated advertising revenue is recognized.

 

Advertising revenue that is comprised of fees charged for the placement of advertising on the websites that we own and operate, is recognized as the advertising or sponsorship is displayed, provided that collection of the resulting receivable is reasonably assured.

 

Print Advertising. Advertising related revenues for print advertisements are recognized when advertisements are published (defined as an issue’s on-sale date), net of provisions for estimated rebates, rate adjustments, and discounts.

 

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Subscription Revenue

 

Digital Subscriptions. We enter into contracts with internet users that subscribe to premium content on our owned and operated media channels and facilitate such contracts between internet users and our Publisher Partners. These contracts provide internet users with a membership subscription to access the premium content. For subscription revenue generated by our independent Publisher Partners’ content, we owe our Publisher Partners a revenue share of the membership subscription revenue earned, which is initially deferred and recorded as deferred contract costs. We recognize deferred contract costs over the membership subscription term in the same pattern that the associated membership subscription revenue is recognized.

 

Digital subscription revenue generated from our websites that we own and operate are charged to customers’ credit cards or are directly billed to corporate subscribers, and are generally billed in advance on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. We calculate net subscription revenue by deducting from gross revenue an estimate of potential refunds from cancelled subscriptions as well as chargebacks of disputed credit card charges. Net subscription revenue is recognized ratably over the subscription periods. Unearned revenue relates to payments for subscription fees for which revenue has not been recognized because services have not yet been provided.

 

Print Revenue

 

Print revenue includes magazine subscriptions and single copy sales at newsstands.

 

Print Subscriptions. Revenue from magazine subscriptions is deferred and recognized proportionately as products are distributed to subscribers.

 

Newsstand. Single copy revenue is recognized on the publication’s on-sale date, net of provisions for estimated returns. We base our estimates for returns on historical experience and current marketplace conditions.

 

Licensing and Syndication Revenue

 

Content licensing-based revenues and syndication revenues are accrued generally monthly or quarterly based on the specific mechanisms of each contract. Generally, revenues are accrued based on estimated sales and adjusted as actual sales are reported by partners. These adjustments are typically recorded within three months of the initial estimates and have not been material. Any minimum guarantees are typically earned evenly over the fiscal year.

 

Contract Modifications

 

We occasionally enter into amendments to previously executed contracts that constitute contract modifications. We assess each of these contract modifications to determine:

 

  if the additional services and goods are distinct from the services and goods in the original arrangement; and
     
  if the amount of consideration expected for the added services or goods reflects the stand-alone selling price of those services and goods.

 

A contract modification meeting both criteria is accounted for as a separate contract. A contract modification not meeting both criteria is considered a change to the original contract and is accounted for on either a prospective basis as a termination of the existing contract and the creation of a new contract, or a cumulative catch-up basis.

 

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Platform Development

 

For the years presented, substantially all of our technology expenses are development costs for our Platform that were capitalized as intangible costs. Technology costs are expensed as incurred or capitalized into property and equipment in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) ASC Topic 350, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other. ASC Topic 350 requires that costs incurred in the preliminary project and post-implementation stages of an internal use software project be expensed as incurred and that certain costs incurred in the application development stage of a project be capitalized.

 

We capitalize internal labor costs, including compensation, benefits and payroll taxes, incurred for certain capitalized platform development projects. Our policy with respect to capitalized internal labor stipulates that labor costs for employees working on eligible internal use capital projects are capitalized as part of the historical cost of the project when the impact, as compared to expensing such labor costs, is material. Our Platform development capitalized during the application development stage of a project include:

 

payroll and related expenses for personnel; and
   
stock-based compensation of related personnel.

 

Business Combinations

 

We account for business combinations using the acquisition method of accounting. The acquisition method of accounting requires that the purchase price, including the fair value of contingent consideration, of the acquisition be allocated to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed using the estimated fair values determined by management as of the acquisition date. Goodwill is measured as the excess of consideration transferred and the net fair values of the assets acquired, and the liabilities assumed at the date of acquisition. While we use best estimates and assumptions as part of the purchase price allocation process to accurately value assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date, our estimates are inherently uncertain and subject to refinement. As a result, during the measurement period, we record adjustments to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed, with the corresponding offset to goodwill to the extent we identified adjustments to the preliminary purchase price allocation. Upon the conclusion of the measurement period, which may be up to one year from the acquisition date, or final determination of the values of assets acquired or liabilities assumed, whichever comes first, any subsequent adjustments are recorded to the consolidated statements of operations. Additionally, we identify acquisition-related contingent payments and determine their respective fair values as of the acquisition date, which are recorded as accrued liabilities on the consolidated balance sheets. Subsequent changes in fair value of contingent payments are recorded on the consolidated statements of operations. We expense transaction costs related to the acquisition as incurred.

 

Goodwill

 

Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of the net tangible and intangible assets of businesses acquired in a business combination. Goodwill is not amortized but rather is tested for impairment at least annually on December 31, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of goodwill may not be recoverable. We adopted ASU 2017-04 (as further described in Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements) during the first quarter of 2020 which eliminated Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. We operate as one reporting unit, therefore, the impairment test is performed at the consolidated entity level by comparing the estimated fair value of the Company to its carrying value. We have elected to first assess the qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of our single reporting unit is less than its carrying amount as a basis of determining whether it is necessary to perform the quantitative goodwill impairment test. If we determine that it is more likely than not that our fair value is less than its carrying amount, then the quantitative goodwill impairment test will be performed. The quantitative goodwill impairment test identifies goodwill impairment and measures the amount of goodwill impairment loss to be recognized by comparing the fair value of our single reporting unit with its carrying amount. If the fair value exceeds the carrying amount, no further analysis is required; otherwise, any excess of the goodwill carrying amount over the implied fair value is recognized as an impairment loss, and the carrying value of goodwill is written down to fair value.

 

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Stock-Based Compensation

 

We provide stock-based compensation in the form of (a) stock awards to employees and directors, comprised of restricted stock awards and restricted stock units, (b) stock option grants to employees, directors and consultants, (c) common stock warrants to Publisher Partners (no warrants were issued during the years ended December 31, 2022, 2021 or 2020) (as further described in Note 23, Stock-Based Compensation, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements), and (d) common stock warrants to ABG (as further described in Note 23, Stock-Based Compensation, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements).

 

We accounts for stock awards and stock option grants to employees, directors and consultants, and non-employee awards to certain directors and consultants by measuring the cost of services received in exchange for the stock-based payments as compensation expense our consolidated financial statements. Stock awards and stock option grants to employees and non-employees which are time-vested, are measured at fair value on the grant date, and charged to operations ratably over the vesting period. Stock awards and stock option grants to employees and non-employees which are performance-vested, are measured at fair value on the grant date and charged to operations when the performance condition is satisfied or over the service period.

 

The fair value measurement of equity awards and grants used for stock-based compensation is as follows: (1) restricted stock awards and restricted stock units which are time-vested, are determined using the quoted market price of our common stock at the grant date; (2) stock option grants which are time-vested and performance-vested, are determined utilizing the Black-Scholes option-pricing model at the grant date; (3) restricted stock units and stock option grants which provide for market-based vesting with a time-vesting overlay, are determined through consultants with our independent valuation firm using the Monte Carlo model at the grant date; (4) Publisher Partner Warrants are determined utilizing the Black-Scholes option-pricing model; and (5) ABG warrants are determined utilizing the Monte Carlo model (as further described in Note 23, Stock-Based Compensation, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements).

 

Fair value determined under the Black-Scholes option-pricing model and Monte Carlo model is affected by several variables, the most significant of which are the life of the equity award, the exercise price of the stock option or warrants, as compared to the fair market value of the common stock on the grant date, and the estimated volatility of the common stock over the term of the equity award. Estimated volatility, prior to the Up-List (as described below), was based on the historical volatility of our common stock and is evaluated based upon market comparisons, thereafter, by evaluating the average historical volatility of a group of peer companies that are publicly traded. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant. The fair market value of common stock is determined by reference to the quoted market price of our common stock.

 

Fair value determined under the Black-Scholes option-pricing model and Monte Carlo model is affected by several variables, the most significant of which are the life of the stock award, the exercise price of the stock option or warrants, as compared to the fair market value of the common stock on the grant date, and the estimated volatility of the common stock over the term of the stock award. Estimated volatility was determined under the (1) “Probability Weighted Scenarios” where one scenario assumes that our common stock will be up-listed on a national stock exchange (the “Exchange”) on a certain listing date (the “Up-list”) where the estimated volatility was based on evaluating the average historical volatility of a group of peer companies that are publicly traded and the second scenario assumes our common stock is not up-listed on the Exchange prior to the final vesting date of the grants (the “No Up-list”) where the historical volatility of our common stock was evaluated based upon market comparisons; and the (2) “Up-list Scenario” where our estimated volatility is based on evaluating the average historical volatility of a group of peer companies that are publicly traded after we up-listed to the NYSE American. The risk-free interest rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant. The fair market value of common stock is determined by reference to the quoted market price of our common stock. 

 

We have elected to recognize forfeitures as they occur and to recognize stock-based compensation cost on a straight-line basis over the total requisite service period for awards with graded vesting. We classify stock-based compensation cost on our consolidated statements of operations in the same manner in which the award recipient’s cash compensation cost is classified.

 

Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

 

Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies, in our accompanying consolidated financial statements appearing elsewhere in this Annual Report includes Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements.

 

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Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

We are a smaller reporting company as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act and are not required to provide the information otherwise required under this item.

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

 

All information required by this item is listed in the Index to Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15(a)(1) of this Annual Report.

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

None.

 

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

 

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining a system of disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e) under the Exchange Act) that is designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports we file or submit under the Exchange Act is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported, within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms. Disclosure controls and procedures include, without limitation, controls and procedures designed to ensure that information required to be disclosed by an issuer in the reports that it files or submits under the Exchange Act is accumulated and communicated to the issuer’s management, including its principal executive officer(s) and principal financial officer(s), or persons performing similar functions, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

 

In accordance with Exchange Act Rules 13a-15 and 15d-15, an evaluation was completed under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures as of and for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022. In light of the material weaknesses described below, we performed additional analyses, reconciliations, and other post-closing procedures to determine whether our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Based on that evaluation, our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective in providing reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed in our reports filed or submitted under the Exchange Act was recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms.

 

In addition, as permitted by SEC guidance, management excluded from its assessment the operations of Parade, which was acquired on April 1, 2022 and accounted for approximately 13.1% of our consolidated total assets as of December 31, 2022 and approximately 6.0% of our consolidated revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022, and Men’s Journal which was acquired on December 15, 2022 and accounted for approximately 12.3% of our consolidated total assets as of December 31, 2022 and approximately 0.2% of our consolidated revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022.

 

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act). Internal control over financial reporting is a process, including policies and procedures, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external reporting purposes in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Our management assessed our internal control over financial reporting based on the Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013 Framework) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”). Our system of internal control over financial reporting is designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with GAAP.

 

Based on our evaluation under the framework in COSO, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2022 due to the material weaknesses described below.

 

A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. We have identified the following control deficiencies that constitute material weaknesses in our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022: (i) we had inadequate segregation of duties consistent with control objectives related to our information technology general controls (“ITGCs”), specifically as it relates to change management; and (ii) there was insufficient validation of non-Google impression data provided by certain third-party service providers. These material weaknesses continue and have not been remediated as of the date of filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

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Management is currently evaluating remedial actions to address the material weaknesses identified as of December 31, 2022. The material weaknesses identified did not result in any misstatement of our financial statements.

 

Auditor’s Report on Internal Control Over Financing Reporting

 

The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022 has been audited by Marcum LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in their report included in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 

Changes in Internal Control over Financial Reporting

 

There have not been any changes in our internal control over financial reporting (as such term is defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Exchange Act) that occurred during the last fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

 

Inherent Limitations on the Effectiveness of Controls

 

The effectiveness of any system of internal control over financial reporting, including ours, is subject to inherent limitations, including the exercise of judgment in designing, implementing, operating, and evaluating the controls and procedures, and the inability to eliminate misconduct completely. Accordingly, in designing and evaluating the disclosure controls and procedures, management recognizes that any system of internal control over financial reporting, including ours, no matter how well designed and operated, can only provide reasonable, not absolute assurance of achieving the desired control objectives. In addition, the design of disclosure controls and procedures must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and that management is required to apply its judgment in evaluating the benefits of possible controls and procedures relative to their costs. Projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate. We intend to continue to monitor and upgrade our internal controls as necessary or appropriate for our business but cannot assure you that such improvements will be sufficient to provide us with effective internal control over financial reporting.

 

Item 9B. Other Information

 

None.

 

Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections

 

Not applicable.

 

Part III

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

 

The information required under this item is incorporated herein by reference to our proxy statement for our 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC not later than 120 days after December 31, 2022.

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation

 

The information required under this item is incorporated herein by reference to our proxy statement for our 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC not later than 120 days after December 31, 2022.

 

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

 

The information required under this item is incorporated herein by reference to our proxy statement for our 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC not later than 120 days after December 31, 2022, with the exception of those items listed below.

 

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Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

 

A summary of our securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2022 is as follows:

 

Equity Compensation Plan Information

 

Plan Category 

(a)

Number of Securities to be Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding Options, Warrants and Rights

  

(b)

Weighted Average Exercise Price of Outstanding
Options, Warrants and Rights

  

(c)

Number of Securities Remaining Available
for Future Issuance
Under Equity Compensation Plans
(Excluding Securities Reflected in Column (a))

 
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders   6,060,877   $9.77    504,782 
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders   1,142,338    11.25    119,756 
Total   7,203,215   $10.01    624,538 

 

Plans Adopted Without Approval of Security Holders

 

Publisher Partner Warrant Program

 

On May 20, 2020, our Board approved the third Publisher Partner Warrant Program, which superseded the second Publisher Partner Warrant Program and authorized us to grant Publisher Partner Warrants to purchase up to 90,910 shares of our common stock. Such Publisher Partner Warrants granted under the third Publisher Partner Warrant Program were to be issued with the same terms as under the second Publisher Partner Warrant Program that was terminated on March 10, 219, except that any Publisher Partner Warrants issued under the third Publisher Partner Warrant Program are no longer subject to performance conditions. Warrants issued under the second Publisher Partner Warrant Program were to be issued with the same terms as under the first Publisher Partner Program, except that the shares of our common stock underlying the Publisher Partner Warrants under the second Publisher Partner Warrant Program were to be earned and vest over three-years. Warrants issued prior to the third and second Publisher Partner Warrant Programs, or under the first Publisher Partner Warrant Program that was approved by our Board on December 19, 2016, were exercisable over a three-year vesting period once earned based on certain performance conditions within six-months issuance, on a cashless basis with a five-year term. The issuance of the Publisher Partner Warrants is administered by management and approved by our Board. We have not granted any Publisher Partner Warrants under any such program since fiscal 2018.

 

On November 2, 2022, our Board approved a plan (the “Warrant Incentive Program”) to grant warrants to certain publishers (the “New Publisher Partner Warrants”), that authorized us to grant New Publisher Partner Warrants to purchase up to 33,000 shares of our common stock. The New Publisher Partner Warrants granted under the Warrant Incentive Program will have the following terms: (i) one-third will become exercisable and vest on the one-year anniversary of the issuance; (ii) the remaining warrants will become exercisable and vest in a series of twenty-four (24) successive equal monthly installments following the first anniversary of the issuance; and (iii) the New Publisher Partner Warrants will have a five-year term. Ross Levinsohn, our Chief Executive Officer, has the authority granted by our Board, to issue up to 400 warrants at his discretion under the Warrant Incentive Program to each Publisher Partner.

 

Outside Options

 

During fiscal 2018, our Board approved the granting of options outside of the 2016 Plan (the “Outside Options”) to certain officers, directors, and employees to provide equity incentive in exchange for consideration in the form of services to us. The Outside Options are exercisable for shares of our common stock. The Outside Options either vest upon the passage of time or are tied to the achievement of certain performance targets. On January 8, 2021, our Board approved an amendment to the Outside Option award grants, which eliminated the performance targets, therefore, the awards continue to vest solely on the time vesting conditions. Our Board approved a repricing of our Outside Options for a certain employee on March 18, 2022 and our stockholders approved the repricing on June 2, 2022.

 

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Warrants

 

On June 14, 2019, we issued 999,540 warrants to acquire our common stock to ABG in connection with the Sports Illustrated Licensing Agreement, expiring in ten years. Half the warrants have an exercise price of $9.24 per share (the “$9.24 Warrants”). The other half of the warrants have an exercise price of $18.48 per share (the “$18.48 Warrants”). The warrants provide for the following: (1) 40% of the $9.24 Warrants and 40% of the $18.48 Warrants vest in equal monthly increments over a period of two years beginning on the one year anniversary of the date of issuance of the warrants (any unvested portion of such warrants to be forfeited by ABG upon certain terminations by us of the Sports Illustrated Licensing Agreement) (the “Time-Based Warrants”); (2) 60% of the $9.24 Warrants and 60% of the $18.48 Warrants vest based on the achievement of certain performance goals for the licensed brands in calendar years 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023; (3) under certain circumstances we may require ABG to exercise all (and not less than all) of the warrants, in which case all of the warrants will be vested; (4) all of the warrants automatically vest upon certain terminations of the Licensing Agreement by ABG or upon a change of control of the Company (the “Performance-Based Warrants”); and (5) ABG has the right to participate, on a pro-rata basis (including vested and unvested warrants, exercised or unexercised), in any future equity issuance (subject to customary exceptions). In June 2021, the exercise price of fifty percent (50%) of the $18.48 Warrants was changed to $9.24 per share in exchange for additional benefits under the Sports Illustrated Licensing Agreement.

 

On October 26, 2020, we issued 5,681 warrants to AllHipHop, LLC (the “AllHipHop Warrants”) to acquire our common stock in exchange for the surrender and termination of 6,819 previously issued Publisher Partner Warrants, with an exercise price of $14.30.

 

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

 

The information required under this item is incorporated herein by reference to our proxy statement for our 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC not later than 120 days after December 31, 2022.

 

Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services

 

The information required under this item is incorporated herein by reference to our proxy statement for our 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the SEC not later than 120 days after December 31, 2022.

 

Part IV

 

Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

 

  (a) The following documents are filed as part of this Annual Report:

 

1. Index to Consolidated Financial Statements. Our consolidated financial statements and the Report of Marcum LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms are included in Part IV of this Annual Report on the pages indicated:

 

    Page
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm   F-2
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2022 and 2021   F-4
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the Years Ended December 31, 2022 and 2021   F-5
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Deficiency for the Years Ended December 31, 2022 and 2021   F-6
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the Years Ended December 31, 2022 and 2021   F-8
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements   F-9

 

2. Financial Statement Schedules. Reference is made to the Financial Statements filed under Item 8, Part II of this Annual Report.

 

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Exhibit   Description
     
2.1   Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of March 13, 2018, by and among the Company, HP Acquisition Co., Inc., HubPages, Inc., and Paul Edmondson as the securityholder representative, which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on March 19, 2018.
2.2   Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of April 25, 2018, by and among TheMaven, Inc., HP Acquisition Co., Inc., HubPages, Inc., and Paul Edmondson as the securityholder representative, which was filed as Exhibit 2.2 to our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on January 8, 2021.
2.3   Second Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of June 1, 2018, by and among TheMaven, Inc., HP Acquisition Co., Inc., HubPages, Inc., and Paul Edmondson as the securityholder representative, which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K/A filed on June 4, 2018.
2.4   Third Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of May 31, 2019, by and among TheMaven, Inc., HP Acquisition Co., Inc., HubPages, Inc., and Paul Edmondson as the securityholder representative, which was filed as Exhibit 2.4 to our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on January 8, 2021.
2.5   Fourth Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of December 15, 2020, by and among TheMaven, Inc., HP Acquisition Co., Inc., HubPages, Inc., and Paul Edmondson as the securityholder representative, which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on December 21, 2020.
2.6   Amended and Restated Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of August 4, 2018, by and among the Company, Maven Coalition, Inc., and Say Media, Inc., which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on August 9, 2018.
2.7   Amendment to Amended and Restated Asset Purchase Agreement, dated as of August 24, 2018, by and among the Company, Maven Coalition, Inc., and Say Media, Inc., which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on August 29, 2018.
2.8   Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of October 12, 2018, by and among the Company, SM Acquisition Co., Inc., Say Media, Inc., and Matt Sanchez as the Securityholder Representative, which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on October 17, 2018.
2.9   Amendment to Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of October 17, 2018, by and among the Company, SM Acquisition Co., Inc., Say Media, Inc., and Matt Sanchez as the Securityholder Representative, which was filed as Exhibit 10.2 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on October 17, 2018.
2.10   Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of June 11, 2019, by and among the Company, TST Acquisition Co., Inc., and TheStreet, Inc., which was filed as Exhibit 10.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on June 12, 2019.
2.11   Asset Purchase Agreement, dated December 7, 2022, by and among The Arena Media Brands, LLC, Weider Publications, LLC and A360 Media, LLC, which was filed as Exhibit 2.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on December 20, 2022.
3.1   Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Registrant, which was filed as Exhibit 3.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on October 13, 2021.
3.2   Second Amended and Restated Bylaws, which was filed as Exhibit 3.2 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on October 13, 2021.
3.3   Certificate of Elimination of Series F Convertible Preferred Stock as filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on September 7, 2021, which was filed as Exhibit 3.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed September 13, 2021.
3.4   Certificate of Elimination of Series I Convertible Preferred Stock as filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on September 7, 2021, which was filed as Exhibit 3.2 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed September 13, 2021.
3.5   Certificate of Elimination of Series J Convertible Preferred Stock as filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on September 7, 2021, which was filed as Exhibit 3.3 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed September 13, 2021.
3.6   Certificate of Elimination of Series K Convertible Preferred Stock as filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on September 7, 2021, which was filed as Exhibit 3.4 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed September 13, 2021.
3.7   Certificate of Amendment as filed with the Delaware Secretary of State on January 20, 2022, which was filed Exhibit 3.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed January 26, 2022.
3.8   Certificate of Correction of the Certificate of Amendment of the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware on January 26, 2022, which was filed as Exhibit 3.2 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed January 26, 2022.

 

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3.9   Certificate of Correction of the Certificate of Amendment of the Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, filed with the Secretary of State of the State of Delaware on February 3, 2022, which was filed as Exhibit 3.1 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed February 9, 2022.
4.1   Specimen Common Stock Certificate, which was filed as Exhibit 4.3 to Amendment No. 1 to Registration Statement on Form SB-2/A (Registration No. 333-48040) on September 23, 1996.
4.2   Common Stock Purchase Warrant issued on June 6, 2018 to L2 Capital, LLC, which was filed as Exhibit 10.3 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on June 12, 2018.
4.3   Common Stock Purchase Warrant issued on June 15, 2018 to Strome Mezzanine Fund LP, which was filed as Exhibit 10.4 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on June 21, 2018.
4.4   Form of Common Stock Purchase Warrant issued on October 18, 2018, which was filed as Exhibit 10.3 to our Current Report on Form 8-K filed on October 24, 2018.
4.5