There was a time when a publication’s social media accounts served as supplements to the brand’s Web presence — to say nothing of the print product. Not so for Obsessee, a next generation media title or, rather, “content brand and community,” that will exist solely on social media.
Obsessee is the latest offering from WhoWhatWear parent company Clique Media Group, which was founded by former Elle staffers Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr in 2006, and will cover fashion, culture, music, beauty, food, shopping and relationships for the 14- to 22-year-old set.
Obsessee’s four Generation Z editors will create and distribute content exclusively on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr in the form of photo galleries, videos, social takeovers, live Q&As, interviews and news, in addition to “IRL” (in real life) events. (Think, for example, a Facebook instant article, a Snapchat how-to video or a Tumblr personal essay, Power said.) The editors will also document their own lives using their personal social accounts.
“So much of this discovery, relationship-building, creativity and story-sharing occurs on social media now, so it was only natural to make that the home for our content,” Power said. “Our target readers are already there; we are just making better content easier for them to discover. From a reader-acquisition standpoint, it is fitting. Think about how you show your friend something that catches your eye; you tag them in a post on social media.”
To lead the charge, CMG has hired Danielle Prescod as managing editor, beginning March 16. She will oversee content and manage contributors and editors, in addition to working with social media director Michelle Plantan. Prescod comes from InStyle, where she was accessories editor and was previously fashion editor at elle.com.
“To put it simply, Danielle ‘gets’ our readers,” Power said of the new approach to social-only publishing. “She has developed content with and around this age group in her posts at Elle and previous publishing roles, and beyond that, she lives on these platforms.”
At a time when fashion bloggers are forgoing blog posts in favor of Instagram pics and publications like W magazine are commissioning Instagram-only photoshoots, it makes sense to go where the readers are. But how does that translate into monetization?
To that end, Obsessee aims to generate revenue the same way so many other media companies are these days: via “sponsored” content or native advertising. Power said that the brand offers a range of integration opportunities for advertisers, including digital integrations like a series of content or placement in channels, or by way of Obsessee’s real-life meetups.
“We will be able to leverage the latest social media product advancements to help our brand partners reach their desired social audience in a unique and cutting-edge way,” Power said, giving her sales pitch. She grandly claims that, “instead of playing the click-bait game,” Obsessee, she said, will monetize its site by “playing into Gen Z’s habits of consuming media on these social platforms.”