People and Entertainment Weekly to launch ad-supported streaming video service this fall
The over-the-top service will offer original, long-form celebrity, pop culture, lifestyle and human interest series, specials and live event coverage
NEW YORK, NY – May 5, 2016 — During its annual NewFront presentation today, Time Inc. introduced the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, a free, advertiser-supported streaming video service from the world’s most respected entertainment media brands. People and Entertainment Weekly have a combined audience of more than 100 million. The network will broadcast original, long-form celebrity, pop culture, lifestyle and human interest series, specials and live event coverage. Scheduled to launch this fall across the landscape of digital platforms and devices, the network will offer more than 100 hours of original programming, including new programming daily, and a robust library of more than 50 hours of content.
People’s and EW’s behind-the-velvet-rope access, combined with decades of established relationships and editorial expertise, will be the core of the network’s programming from day one. In addition to the slate of new series, specials and live coverage, fans will be treated to original programming from Time Inc.’s numerous content franchises, such as People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Heroes Among Us, World’s Most Beautiful, Half Their Size, EW’s Fall TV Preview, Must List, Reunions, Bullseye and People en Español’s Mas Bellos. Moreover, there will be extensive coverage of awards shows, festivals and premieres, and the network will benefit from collaborations across Time Inc. to feature exclusive, insider access to star-studded events, such as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the Time 100, Essence Festival, Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and more.
The People/Entertainment Weekly Network will also draw on the extensive built-in resources and capabilities across Time Inc., such as its robust in-house video production group, new state-of-the-art production studios, global advertising sales force and significant marketing and promotional support from its portfolio of brands. All of this will position the service well to capitalize on the exploding over-the-top (OTT) marketplace. By 2020, it is expected that nearly 200 million connected TVs will be sold in the US1, with weekly consumption of OTT programming doubling during that time2. Advertiser spending on OTT is projected to reach $40 billion in 2020, accounting for nearly half of all TV-related advertiser spending in that year3.
“The People/Entertainment Weekly Network will distinguish itself by being the first free-to-consumer, advertiser-supported OTT service in the entertainment news category, creating original programming specifically designed for the lean-back, long-form environment,” said Rich Battista, President of the Time Inc. Entertainment and Sports Group and Video. “We are confident that this network, anchored by the unparalleled access and storytelling prowess of the iconic People and EW brands, will prove to be a major new addition to the OTT space. We look forward to partnering with our advertisers who are increasing their investment in OTT to reach engaged, passionate audiences with dynamic new advertising formats and solutions.”
Jess Cagle, Editorial Director of People and EW, added, “These unique brands are not only cultural forces. They occupy a special place in the hearts of consumers. EW taps into the pop-culture obsessions of its audience and takes them deep into the creative process. People entertains, empowers and inspires its devoted, massive audience with amazing and trusted storytelling. This exciting OTT network, like all our brand extensions, will be built from the same DNA that has made these brands an indispensable part of the audience’s lives. We’re giving the consumer more of something they already love.”
The People/Entertainment Weekly Network is the latest initiative in Time Inc.’s strategy to innovate beyond the traditional distribution channels and create compelling viewing experiences that drive engagement across all platforms. Entering the rapidly expanding over-the-top space with long-form programming is the latest progression for the People and EW brands, which collectively reach an audience of 105 million (MPA 360, March 2016).