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Time Inc. Bets on Social Media With Advertising Product

Time Inc. has developed "Real Time," a new product that uses social media for advertising capabilities.

Time Inc. has developed a product for advertisers to leverage trending social media content.

Called “Real Time,” the product provides advertisers “100 percent share of voice on trending content across Time Inc.’s domestic Web sites in addition to integration within the social promotion,” the New York-based company said Monday.

Time Inc., which publishes InStyle, Sports Illustrated, People, Time and Fortune, explained that the technology tracks trending content and re-targets its most active social audiences so that Real Time can push out promotional units from its own social platforms in order to “maximize further user engagement”— which is key in attracting ad dollars.

In order to ensure that advertisers are getting their money’s worth, Time Inc. has built “dozens of custom content segments,” including beauty, food and travel content. Advertisers can tap into these lifestyle groups to customize or choose their own audience segments, the publisher noted.

“As an ultra-premium network, Time Inc. is committed to offering best-in-class solutions for our partners to ensure their messaging is aligned with content that our engaged audiences care about most,” said executive vice president of global advertising Mark Ford.

Volvo Cars of North America will be Real Time’s first partner.

“As we relaunch the Volvo brand in the U.S., we are doing so with a highly targeted marketing strategy. It’s all about being relevant to the right consumers,” said Bodil Eriksson, executive vice president of product, marketing and communications at Volvo Cars of North America.

SocialFlow, the social media technology firm, will power Real Time by enabling it to target and deliver ads by demographic and topical category, for instance.

Like its publishing rivals, Time Inc. is in the process of building its digital advertising capabilities in an effort to grab new dollars and backstop losses stemming from the decline of print-centric revenue.

In its most recent quarter, the company cut its full-year forecast, citing a worse-than-expected print advertising environment. Struggling print advertising sales weighed down total revenues by 5.8 percent to $773 million in the third quarter. Hefty charges caused the company to swing to a net loss of $913 million, or $8.30 a diluted share.

Although chairman and chief executive officer Joe Ripp acknowledged the difficult environment, he said Time Inc. is looking for a “path to profitable growth” for each title, which includes developing new digital advertising streams, e-commerce and a strong live events business.

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