August 14, 2015 Last Updated 12:58 pm

Refinery29 launches Here and Now, a talent collective for social influencers

I have read this press release a couple of times, gone to the website, and still don’t understand exactly what Refinery29 is doing. It says it is creating a talent collective of social influencers. That sounds like they are rounding up a bunch of folks and making them create content for free for Refinery29 in exchange for more exposure – call it the Huffington Post model.

There is a certain bit of LA-speak here, I think. Something that sounds good at first, but in the end is rather elusive. We’ll see if anything comes of it.

And by the way, is the company familiar with the existing Here & Now?

Here is the announcement.

NEW YORK, NY – August 14, 2015 — Digital lifestyle media company Refinery29 announced the launch of Here and Now, a talent collective that will partner with a new generation of social influencers by offering support and greater access across all platforms under the Refinery29 umbrella. Refinery29 has always fostered a community of emerging voices and Here and Now will continue that ethos by collaborating with tastemakers who speak to an independent-minded audience across multiple platforms.

HereandNow-logoRefinery29 will identify talent based on their unique story, point of view, expertise, and reach. The new collective focuses on creating a symbiotic relationship with talent and content that unites like-minded readers and offers new ways for communities to engage with their personal channels and Refinery29. Each member of this impactful group are figures of authority in their own right, having built their robust audiences on mobile and social platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube. Here and Now has formal relationships with a handful of the biggest YouTube stars and content creators, including Lauren Curtis (3.1 million subscribers on YouTube), Casey Holmes (nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube), Danielle Bernstein of We Wore What (over 1 million followers on Instagram) and Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow (1.3 million followers on Pinterest), among others. Here and Now influencers will work closely with Refinery29 editors to contribute content and optimize the experience for readers on both Refinery29 and their individual outlets.

“Through Here and Now, Refinery29 is expanding its relationships with a select group of content creators whose mission aligns with our core belief of telling meaningful stories with a sense of purpose and an empowered point of view,” said Justin Stefano, co-founder and CEO of Refinery29. “Establishing Here and Now is a natural next step for us as we continue to find new ways to grow our network of contributing experts and delve further into mobile platforms.”

Additionally, Here and Now influencers will create new custom content and distribution opportunities for Refinery29’s brand partners. This will allow Refinery29 advertisers to tell their stories in a targeted way across the vast and highly engaged followings of these social media influencers with scale and reach.

Smashbox is Here and Now’s first brand partner. Refinery29 will work with its Here and Now talent collective to create highly engaging video and social assets to support Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Water Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This program brings together top mass-reach YouTube creators (over 1 million subscribers) and top Instagrammers (over 1 million followers) from the fashion, beauty and style ecosystems. The video and social assets will be distributed across influencers’ social channels and Refinery29.

Nathan Coyle, Refinery29’s head of business development for the past two years, will assume the role of general manager of Here and Now, overseeing all aspects of its operation. “The Refinery29 audience spends so much time on the platforms where Here and Now’s talent have established followings, craving the real-time and relatable content they are producing daily,” said Coyle. “This new collective will create more opportunities to provide content that speaks to every aspect of our audience’s life, while vastly extending our reach across multiple platforms straight out of the mobile social core.”

“The power of influencers, particularly in beauty and fashion, is undeniable. They have real, authentic relationships with their subscribers and fans, and their reach is immense,” said Beth DiNardo, global general manager at Smashbox. “We’ve done such great work with Refinery29 in the past and are very excited to collaborate with them on this new influencer initiative. We really feel that they ‘get us,’ so we can’t wait to see what this partnership brings.”

With a dedicated focus uniting talent from across YouTube and other social platforms—both established and emerging—Refinery29 works with some of the best content creators in the world to deliver experiences that inspire and engage its audience. As these channels have grown, Refinery29 has used them as a point of discovery to ensure its audience is consuming the content best suited for each individual channel.

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