While only about a year into owning both brands, which it acquired through its purchase of Time Inc., Meredith is making them tentpoles of its expansion in video, which it referred to as its “video everywhere” strategy at this year’s NewFront presentation.
For People, this means an expansion of People TV with more content around “the three Rs:” royals, red carpet and reality. A new weekly show on royal coverage is coming, as is a nightly show on reality TV and the current level of red carpet coverage will triple. Executives said People TV is now Meredith’s “flagship OTT service,” which streams for free and appears on almost 20 of the company’s owned TV channels.
As for IGTV, Meredith said it has more than 20 shows in the works that are optimized for the Instagram video vertical. It’s going deeper on IGTV partly because the average user who follows Meredith brads opens the app 30 times a day — so roughly twice every waking hour — and because this audience is mostly female. The content will mainly be shorter form — the opposite of what Condé Nast is doing with a new focus on longer-form video — like a new series with Martha Stewart dedicated to cake frosting.
Also coming down the video pike is “See Her Style,” hosted by InStyle editor in chief Laura Brown and designer Brandon Maxwell in partnership with #SeeHer, an initiative focused on female representation in media started in 2016 by the Association of National Advertisers and the Alliance for Family Entertainment. The show will look at how style informs women in power and will hand out scholarships to a young woman every episode.
Maxwell said what drew him to working on the series was first Brown, whom he’s known for years, but also because, “I’ve seen from a young age that clothing does have the power to transform you.”
“See Her Story” is also coming up, hosted by Katie Couric and set to run through August 2020 on People TV. The show will profile “overlooked” women of history and female leaders.
Meredith also briefly addressed Money magazine, which was for sale until recently as the former Time Inc. title failed to find a buyer, despite the asking price said to have fallen below $10 million. Now Money will be staying with Meredith and the company said it’s even planed two new money-driven IGTV shows around it.
Food was another main part of the presentation. Meredith said the category actually drives 40 percent of its total video views, equal to 3 billion, and reaches 175 million consumers whom it linked to $784 billion in food spending. Meredith intends to continue tracking visitors to gain insight into food trends to build content and ads against. Already, it said this summer we can expect to see more InstaPot cooking and also more rhubarb baked goods and drinks.
There was a lot of murmuring at Target’s first NewFront presentation about what the big-box retailer had to say. An announcement was promised and marketers were expecting something big. Maybe a new partnership? An acquisition? Is Google involved?
No. No. And no. Instead, Target revealed a new name for its in-house media company, Roundel. Given that it went for a full presentation that included “inspirational” speakers like conflict resolution expert Priya Parker and a food spread from Momofuku, Dean & Deluca and Calexico (which the scores of ad execs outwardly appreciated), the message was also that Target is eager to expand its services from in-house to the broader ad landscape.
“We spent the last three years figuring out how to embark on this, how to not just serve personalized ads on our platform,” Kristi Argyilan, president of Target Media/Roundel, said. “We want to do something few in the media business have today — balance the math and the magic, marry Target’s IQ and EQ.”
This, Argyilan said, is the idea behind pursuing a more independent ad agency, reiterating that Roundel is “not just operating a retail media network.” The company wants to use its insights and partnerships with more than 150 publishers to create custom campaigns for brands, be it around the holidays or shopping habits, leveraging the data it gathers on its customers.
“We can connect you in-house of course but also off channel,” she assured the crowd. “We’re even pushing into linear TV at this point.”
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