Time Inc. is chasing Millennials by going where they do: mobile videos of Internet stars.
Time Inc. today announced the upcoming launch of Instant, a new mobile-first, all-video digital platform featuring content “about the lives and projects of digital celebrities,” as well as content created by the digital celebrities, the company stated.
The Instant user experience will be a “fluid video stream,” so viewers can watch without interruption — no app download required — according to the company.
Deemed “the new famous,” digital artists of YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, YouNow, Vine and other emerging platforms will create and be the stars of Instant’s news, features and exclusives.
A survey conducted for Variety in July 2015 that found among U.S. teens, eight of the top 10 most influential celebrities are YouTube stars.
“Digital artists are the most explosive and addictive phenomenon in celebrity and entertainment today,” stated Will Lee, digital editorial director for People and Entertainment Weekly. “Instant will be the first and foremost platform for and by these creators, with a beautiful new consumption experience for our audience.”
Although Lee wasn't ready to give the full details behind the platform, the company said Instant will carry native and branded advertising exclusively, with the native app-like experience directly in the mobile browser.
Instant is partnering with People, Entertainment Weekly and HelloGiggles to distribute the shareable videos, called “Instants.” The content will span digital verticals, like entertainment, beauty, fashion, food and social media, through the perspective of digital artists.
“Digital stars and artists are a rapidly expanding galaxy, and there’s no one covering them like People and EW cover Hollywood stars and projects,” Lee told Publishers Daily. Both pub's sites, as well as social channels and magazines, will feature Instant’s content and digital artists.
“People, Entertainment Weekly and HelloGiggles are the perfect brands to help launch Instant, a tremendously future-leaning platform dedicated to an exciting new generation of creators,” stated Rich Battista, president of the Time Inc. entertainment and sports group and video.
HelloGiggles is the premiere launch partner and will help Instant conceive and produce programming audience strategy.
Time Inc. plans to premiere Instant at VidCon 2016 next month in Anaheim, CA.
Instant’s production team will be led by
Editorial Director Kirstin Benson, who will report to Lee, and oversee all editorial, native and social media content for the site. Benson joins the Instant team from WhoSay, where she led
editorial operations for nearly two years.