A+E Networks Expands Its Branded Content With Hearst Magazines Digital Deal

Advertisers haven't signed on yet

One week after A+E Networks took branded content to a new level by co-producing a new "fully-shoppable" Lifetime lifestyle/home entertainment series with Wayfair, the company is making another big branded content push.

A+E Networks and Hearst Magazines Digital Media (HMDM) are teaming up for Hearst-produced branded content videos, which will air on A&E, Lifetime, History, Viceland and FYI. Hearst jointly owns A+E Networks with Disney-ABC Television Group, but A+E's digital properties are not aligned with HMDM.

The companies are looking to partner with brands on branded content videos—spotlighting themes like lifestyle, outdoor or food—which will run alongside traditional ad spots. The partnership will also include articles, galleries, ads and social media on various HMDM properties, including the sites for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Good Housekeeping and Delish. No advertisers have signed onto the new campaign yet, said A+E Networks.

"This partnership allows us to amplify an advertiser's narrative beyond our own distribution network," said Todd Haskell, svp and chief revenue officer, HMDM, in a statement. "These videos will bring the authority and credibility of our editorial brands, along with an organic advertiser integration, into a perfectly aligned block of A+E programming."

Last Saturday, Lifetime debuted The Way Home, a lifestyle/home entertainment series co-produced with Wayfair, in which every item that appears on the program will be available for purchase on the online home goods merchant's website.

"Now more than ever, with the environment of media changing so much, companies have to be open-minded to doing things differently. It can't be the same mold. We can't just do an hour show with 30-second spots and throw in some integration. That's yesterday, so how do we evolve ourselves," explained Amy Baker, evp of ad sales at A+E Networks.

A+E's recent deals are part of a larger migration away from traditional integrations in favor of alternatives like branded content.