At Time Inc.’s NewFronts debut this morning, People magazine editorial director Jess Cagle jokingly proposed a drinking game in which the audience would take a shot every time the phrases “amazing content” or “unparalleled access” were used. By the end of the presentation, he surmised, everyone would have blacked out.
And boy, was he right.
Those phrases—meant to underscore the fact that Time Inc.’s legacy as a media company gives it the ability to create higher-quality content—formed the backbone of Time Inc.’s programming pitch. But that’s old news. The company’s focus is now on distribution, promotion and cross-brand sales, said Mark Ford, evp of advertising sales. “You can have great brands and great content, but you have to have great tech,” he said. “Advertisers said we need to promote the content we create,” added svp of video J.R. McCabe, “so that’s what we’re going to do.”
In a move similar to that made by Condé Nast Entertainment earlier this week, Time Inc. announced plans to launch a cross-brand video hub, The Daily Cut, which will aggregate the company’s video inventory and make it easier to browse. NewFronts attendees also got a first look at 120 Sports, the upcoming live-streaming digital sports network Time Inc. is launching with MLB Advanced Media, the NHL, Silver Chalice and Campus Insiders.
Time Inc. is also adding more partners—including Daily Motion, Ulive, Roku Inc. and Net2TV—to its current distribution network, which will expand availability across platforms.
As far as new programming, Time Inc. will expand on its roster of live-streaming content (currently SI Now and SI Pro Football Now) with People Now, a daily live entertainment show, and Fortune’s The Chat. The company is also putting an emphasis on nonbranded series, like the fashion-focused I (Heart) My Closet and home design makeover show Eyesore with Rachel Dratch and Alec Holland, which can live across multiple Time Inc. titles’ sites.
Other returning series include SI Underdogs and Time’s Red Border Films documentary franchise.