Joe Ripp Addresses Time Inc.’s Year

Ripp has sent his "year in review" memo to staffers, so we took the liberty of pulling some highlights.

Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp has sent his “year in review” memo to staffers, so we took the liberty of pulling some highlights. Below are some of the more interesting points, followed by the full note.

  • Through October, “multi-platform audiences” are up 19 percent compared to 2014
  • Programmatic solutions and third-party ad deals are up more than 65 percent compared to last year
  • For the first time, four separate issues of People earned more than 40 percent of market share
  • Time Inc. will experiment with price testing next year
  • There are now more than 600 staffers at Time Inc.’s Bangalore location

This activity-filled year has required a great deal of effort and energy from all of us at Time Inc. as we reposition ourselves as a broader media company. As 2015 comes to a close, I thank you for your hard work and dedication. Together, we’ve achieved significant objectives that reflect the progress across our organization.

First and foremost, we remain focused on maintaining the highest standards of editorial excellence. The best reporting of the year has included Time’s coverage of Donald Trump and the attacks in Paris; the in-depth investigative report by Fortune on the hacking scandal at Sony; Sports Illustrated’s exclusive interview with Michael Phelps; Entertainment Weekly’s 32-page package devoted to the new Star Wars; Cooking Light’s first-ever celebrity cover in its history, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama; Country Life’s November 11 issue guest-edited by the Prince of Wales; and People’s many record-breaking covers, as well as its recent exclusive interview and images of Sandra Bullock’s newly adopted daughter. Our journalism, which has been recognized with 140 awards this year, is a testament to the highly engaging premium content that sets us apart from other news and media organizations.

While we have maintained our editorial excellence, we have continued to reinvent content creation and have become more efficient in the process. In 2015, we issued the first-ever standardized rights agreements with our photographers. We formed the Time Inc. Food Studio in Birmingham, the largest and most sophisticated food studio complex in the United States, and created a new test kitchen and food hub across several of the UK’s lifestyle brands.

In 2015, we leveraged Time Inc.’s editorial excellence to accelerate our traffic growth. Through October, our global multi-platform audiences have grown to 155 million, up 19% year over year. Our social footprint rose 45% to 180 million, and our video audience jumped 86%. We continued our aggressive video programming and distribution push with new partners like Hulu, Yahoo and Zealot Networks, and we have made across-the-board gains in viewership, reach and engagement. With a new 3,000-square-foot soundstage at 225 Liberty Street, we are greatly expanding our video capabilities, including doubling our live production.

We made significant investments to participate in the rapid growth of custom content and native solutions. We established the Foundry in Brooklyn, which launched The Drive, a new vertical aimed at auto enthusiasts. We plan to introduce additional verticals and capture our share of this growing market in the years ahead.

In print, we faced continuing headwinds with major advertisers, as print advertising has declined this year. We are confident that we can offset this trend with the continuing growth of our digital, video and native advertising businesses over the long term. For example, we have continued to aggressively expand our high-touch and hyper-targeted programmatic solutions and third-party advertising deals, which are up over 65% year over year.

We made significant progress with People on the newsstand. In 2015, for the first time ever, four issues of People garnered over 40% market share. Our overall market share continued to rise, with People’s share now exceeding 35%.