Time Announces Sports Illustrated OTT Service to Launch This Fall
Time Inc. announced a variety of online video initiatives at its 2017 newfront presentation today, spread among its many newsstand properties. The biggest is that Sports Illustrated will debut an over-the-top video service in the fall. While details are scarce, it will include both live and on-demand content with a library of over 50 hours of video from day one. Content will include original series, exclusive documentaries, expert commentary, and shows about fantasy sports. Time launched the People Entertainment Networks at its 2016 newfront, and if the as-yet unnamed Sports Illustrated service follows that model, it will be free, ad-supported, and available through apps on a variety of platforms.
Speaking of People, it currently creates a 30-minute live entertainment show weekday mornings on People.com, and that will be joined by a similar afternoon show in the fall. Essence Now, the weekly live show from Essence, will begin streaming live on Twitter in the coming months.
Time also launched a few new video properties today, including The Pretty (a millennial-targeted beauty destination), ReMade (for DIY enthusiasts), and The Barrel (for lovers of all things alcoholic), available through social platforms. These follow Time's previous launch of Well Done, a video brand that's already served 155 million views.
"Video is a significant growth area for us," said Rich Battista, Time's president and CEO, noting that in April the company charted 1 billion monthly video views for the first time, and expects to receive over 8.5 billion views this year.
This was a day for news newfronts: At the Turner presentation for CNN, Great Big Story, and Bleacher Reports, CNN president Jeffrey Zucker spoke to online video star Casey Neistat about Neistat's upcoming and still unnamed online partnership with CNN. The venture will launch this summer on YouTube and Facebook. Neistat, who sold his app Beme to CNN for roughly $25 million, said the project will be more focused on news than he originally planned.
Great Big Story is rolling out video on Apple News starting today, and will launch Great Big Cuentos, programming for Hispanic audiences, in the fall.
"Live today is our fresh and immersive new video experience on Apple News," Zucker said. "Great Big Story’s cinematic storytelling has been perfectly customized for one of the fastest rising platforms in mobile. It’s truly impactful. And we can bring partners along with us."
Casey Neistadt and Jeffrey Zucker at the CNN NewFront (Getty Images for Turner)
Investing in the future of streaming media and pay TV, Time Warner spends $583 million for an equity stake in Hulu in an all-cash transaction.
Great Big Story creates short-form curiosities, then distributes them to a young adult audience on a variety of platforms.
The case should help educate the public in the difference between bandwidth throttling and settlement-free peering.