This development was buried in Time Inc’s NewFront announcement today, but could be important. The number of customers for its digital syndication arm, created last year, just doubled: New deals add Amazon plus websites at CBS, Cumulus, Gannett, and Nexstar TV stations.
That means by mid-year Time’s video content will start to appear on more than 1,000 outlets including the Amazon Video Shorts pages. It also could make the TV digital offerings more attractive by supplementing their local material with videos from 22 domestic magazines — oops, they’re now calling them “brands” — including Time, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune, Money, and InStyle.
“We have committed to become relevant in this space,” Time Inc. Video SVP J.R. McCabe tells me. “It’s part of the transformation of what Time Inc is all about.”
The customers decide what videos they want to offer; Time will sell the ads. Deals vary. Some involve revenue sharing, others divide inventory to sell. The company says today that it added 200 buyers since last year. Time Warner spun off the publishing operation in June.
In addition to the syndication deals, Time unveiled programming plans. They include Time’s A Year In Space, about astronaut Scott Kelly’s year in the International Space Station; a talk show with WNBA point guard Skylar Diggins, 40/40 Live; The Bullseye with EW’s Tim Stack talking to celebs; Popography, with People and EW’s Jess Cagle talking to A-listers about their careers. Sports Illustrated Films also plans to roll out full length documentaries as well as short features.
The company previewed the 3,000 square foot studio it will have later this year when it moves from the iconic Time & Life Building to new headquarters at 225 Liberty St.