Entertainment Weekly is expanding its website beyond the usual movie reviews and TV recaps to add three new online channels: Family, Style & Design, and Gaming & Tech.
"Our audience is hungry for more perspective on entertainment content, and these channels will really help us ramp up our expertise in the entertainment space," Kim Miller, the executive director and general manager of EW Digital, told Adweek. "We wanted to cover specific niches and fill the void."
The Family vertical, which launched on August 1, features reviews of kid-centric entertainment (all written by actual parents on the EW staff) as well as a searchable database that lets readers browse through kids' books, movies and TV shows by appropriate viewer age. "There are obviously a lot of parenting and mommy blogs, but we want to leverage this from our entertainment expertise," said Miller, who added that the browse-by-age feature is "really resonating with users."
The Style & Design vertical launched last Thursday. With EW's sister title People having already cornered the market on celeb-focused style coverage, EW's new vertical aims to cover the topic from an entertainment and character perspective. For example, in addition to the requisite red carpet coverage, current stories include an interview with The Good Wife's set designer, a slideshow of "couture movie costumes" and tips from an Up All Night makeup artist about how to fake a good night's sleep.
And because men make up about 45 percent of EW's readers, the style channel won't just be targeted at females; it also includes a section called "Guy Style" with features like "Don Draper's Many Looks."
Bronwyn Barnes, a former entertainment editor at InStyle, was brought in last spring to oversee the style content. She'll also oversee the magazine's first Hollywood Design Report themed issue, which hits newsstands later this fall.
The development of EW's third new channel, Gaming & Tech, was the brainchild of Bill Gannon, EW.com's managing editor (who also happens to be a big gaming fan, according to Miller). The channel's gaming coverage and reviews will cover everything from console games to mobile apps, with an emphasis on the casual gamer. Tech news will also come from an entertainment standpoint—for instance, which new tablets are best for downloading and watching movies. The Gaming & Tech vertical will launch sometime in the fourth quarter, Miller added.