Some might say it was a magical Wednesday evening at the first-ever Hearst Magazines Digital Content NewFront House Party at Hearst Tower in New York.
First, Magic Mike star Channing Tatum kicked off the festivities with a taped video welcome. The temperature skyrocketed soon after, as a male dance crew performed on stage shirtless. Then, Tatum surprised the audience by hopping on stage himself (with a shirt on) to talk about his upcoming show, Magic Mike Live, which is part of a year-long content partnership with Hearst brand Cosmopolitan. Tatum will ideate video series, Facebook Live broadcasts, virtual reality content, articles and more. The show launches at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in March 2017.
Lee Sosin, svp, marketing solutions, branded content and video for Hearst Magazines Digital Media, appeared next, admitting the difficult task of following Magic Mike. Sosin said he hoped to "melt the internet" with the Tatum partnership. "Whether it's smart service, hilarious comedy or inspiring personal journeys, everything is audience-first and built to be shared," he said.
Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media and Adweek's 2015 Magazine Executive of the Year, talked about the prevalence of digital video content that has appeared across the HMDM portfolio in recent months, including on the Cosmo, Elle, Harper's Bazaar and Esquire websites.
Young also touted the company's linear distribution partnership with A+E Networks, a partnership with Sony Music in a new original series for Cosmopolitan.com and a partnership with powerhouse agency Wieden & Kennedy in a new series for Esquire.com.
Young went on to discuss the company's partnerships with A-Listers including Tatum, Lena Dunham and Elizabeth Banks. Dunham's website and newsletter Lenny already has a presence across the HMDM portfolio, and Banks showed off a video introduction to WhoHaha.com, her new women's comedy site. Partnering with Cosmopolitan, WhoHaHa will create original, female-focused comedy series that will be distributed across both the Cosmopolitan and the WhoHaHa websites.
"Hearst is about continual innovation," said Young. "Our digital business is evolving at a staggering pace and video is at the heart of it. We're creating content that cuts through the noise of the internet and drives enormous viewership across our properties and the most important social and mobile platforms."
Editors from Elle and Esquire were on-hand to present multiple new original digital video series from HMDM. These included new video series from Cosmopolitan.com (All In, Beautiful Nights, Show Day), HarpersBazaar.com (Younger Games), Elle.com (How Do I Wear That?, My Turn), and Sweet (The Sweet Guide to Living a Better Life).
Not all of the upcoming series have a female-skew.
Esquire editor in chief Jay Fielden previewed Who's That Guy?, an interactive Facebook Live style and celebrity game show. Also, Wieden+Kennedy partner and global executive creative director Colleen DeCourcy presented Manhood, a co-production with Esquire.com, which focuses on the raw emotions and deep thoughts of 21st Century men.