TIME INC. GETS COZI: Time Inc. is betting on digital as it readies itself to go public.
This story first appeared in the June 3, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company, which will be spun off from Time Warner on Friday, has acquired Cozi Inc., a Seattle-based technology firm.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Time, Cozi specializes in organizing tools for mobile and digital platforms, and has more than 10 million users. The majority of those users subscribe to Cozi’s app for free, while a smaller percentage pays $29.99 a month for an expanded version. Pricing is expected to remain intact, as is Cozi’s head count and Northwest office location.
Launched in 2005 by Robbie Cape, a former Microsoft general manager, Cozi is expected to aid in bringing Time Inc. more digital clout, specifically in the mobile sphere. In their internal memo to employees Monday, Time Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Joe Ripp and executive vice president Evelyn Webster called Cozi a “strategic fit” for the company.
“First, its digital tools naturally align with the more than 53 million families we reach every month. We look at this as an attractive opportunity to combine content from our brands like Real Simple with these interactive tools and products, ultimately giving us a much deeper level of engagement with this important audience,” the memo said. “We also believe that Cozi’s organizational products can be applied more widely across our portfolio of brands — imagine the possibilities if we offer travel buffs, sports enthusiasts or food lovers tangible digital and mobile tools to organize their activities combined with deep, relevant content.”
Another area of growth is the productivity category, Time Inc. said, adding that such apps are outpacing the growth of messaging, gaming and news. Cozi specializes in this area through its calendar and list-making apps.
Real Simple publisher Charlie Kammerer was acknowledged by Time Inc. for helping to bring Cozi to the table. He originally earmarked Cozi as a perfect partner for Real Simple. But sister titles, such as Cooking Light, could eventually use the app down the line.
“It’s to manage life,” Kammerer said, explaining that Real Simple’s mobile presence doesn’t yet match its scale.
“The reason why we like this is because it’s mobile,” he said. “The market is going mobile pretty quickly.”
With Cozi, Real Simple will be able to leverage digital advertising, which lives on the app’s free site, he noted. Time Inc. will also be able to use the mobile know-how of Cozi’s 28 employees to develop similar platforms for its other publications.
Cozi, which will continue to be branded separately from Real Simple, will begin to incorporate the magazine’s content in the next few months.