Time Inc. appears to be ready to give digital celebrities the same kind of attention that Fortune gives to CEOs, Sports Illustrated gives to athletes, and Entertainment Weekly gives to traditional media stars.
The company unveiled today plans to create a video destination called Instant that it describes as “100% native and branded advertising-driven” with “ad product a seamless part of the editorial offering.”
The editorial material will focus on “news, features and exclusives about and by ‘the new famous,’ the digital artists of YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, YouNow, Vine and other platforms to come,” it says.
Content will be targeted to people viewing on mobile devices. Videos will run within the browser; users won’t have to download a special app.
Time Inc didn’t disclose a start date for Instant, but says that people will be able to find out more at VidCon 2016, which will take place June 23-25 in Anaheim.
People and Entertainment Weekly Digital Editorial Director Will Lee will oversee editorial, native and social media content for the initiative. Instant’s dedicated production team will be led by Editorial Director Kirstin Benson, who’ll report to Lee. She joins Instant from WhoSay, the celebrity-focused social media service
“Digital artists are the most explosive and addictive phenomenon in celebrity and entertainment today,” Lee says. “Instant will be the first and foremost platform for and by these creators, with a beautiful new consumption experience for our audience.”
The company says that Instant will will feature “snackable, shareable videos – called ‘Instants’ — across many digital verticals, including entertainment, beauty, fashion, food and social media, covered through the unique perspective of digital artists, and frequently created and curated by the digital artists themselves.”
It will have a close ties to Hello Giggles, which describes itself as a “positive online community ” that targets millennial women — and that Time Inc bought last year.
Instant also will have a “significant presence” in People and EW‘s properties.
The announcement follows Time Inc’s disclosure this month that it will launch the People/Entertainment Weekly Network streaming service this fall with original long form content as well as live coverage of events.