NEW YORK – Much of the buzz at NewFronts this year is centred on the dominance of mobile and just how many eyeballs are on the video content streaming over smartphones and other devices.
The conversation topped a busy agenda at Time Inc.’s NewFronts presentation Thursday morning at the Hudson Theatre. Mark Ford, EVP of global advertising sales, said his company delivered a billion video streams in the past year through digital extensions of its powerhouse brands, including People and Sports Illustrated. Mobile was the number-one source of all that audience traffic.
“Our digital reach across the Time Inc. Network now surpasses our print audience,” Ford said.
That’s no small change considering Time Inc. is one of the world’s largest media companies, with a monthly global print audience of more than 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 120 million visitors each month, including over 50 websites.
Another key theme of the presentation was the momentum of the company-wide digital video initiative. Currently 22 U.S. brands are producing original video content in a variety of forms, driving a 78% growth in year-over-year video user views, according to comScore. The company has also seen significant spikes in engagement and total streams per viewer.
In addition to returning series and original programming, Time Inc. executives introduced another 11 new programs and development projects. Among them were:
- Time’s A Year In Space, which chronicles astronaut Scott Kelly’s year in the International Space Station;
- 40/40 Live, a collaboration with Jay Z’s Life + Times, hosted by WNBA point guard Skylar Diggins (whose presence Thursday lent an air glamour to the event) and filmed at Jay Z’s The 40/40 Club;
- The Bullseye starring Entertainment Weekly senior writer Tim Stack who will be joined by a celebrity guest to offer rapid-fire thoughts on the week’s buzziest news;
- Popography, hosted by People and EW editorial director Jess Cagle and featuring interviews the A-listers about the pivotal moments that shaped their careers;
- Sports Illustrated Films, a new dedicated video initiative to tell sports stories across all screens and mediums; and
- Andi’s Apple, featuring former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman as she kicks off her single life in NYC.
It was at the 2014 NewFronts that Time Inc. announced the creation of its video distribution network, designed to add scale and diversity to advertising options. Since then, the number of distribution partners across both platforms and devices has doubled, according to the company. New partners include: Amazon (where Time Inc. video will be available on the Amazon Video Shorts pages within Amazon.com); CBS Local Digital Media and its network of 120-plus websites; Cumulus and its network of 450 U.S. station sites; Gannett, which owns and operates 120 news and information properties, including USA Today; Nexstar Broadcasting’s digital network; and Vessel Video Service, where Time Inc. was a featured launch partner.
Time Inc. also showcased a preview of its sleek new studios in the company’s new headquarters at 225 Liberty Street, NY. The studio features more than 3,000 square feet of soundstage and triples the company’s s production capabilities.
“We are doing more and moving more swiftly into the digital space,” said J.R. McCabe, Time Inc. SVP of video.
“Our goal is to constantly expand the reach and scale of our video network, first through Time Inc. digital channels and then with organic and mutually beneficial partnerships,” he said.
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