Time Inc. is grappling into the world of content creation and streaming with PEN, a combined effort from People and Entertainment Weekly.
More companies these days are seizing the opportunity to fabricate and produce their very own online streaming websites, from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Crackle, to now Time Inc. Founded at the end of 1922, Time Inc. has grown from a small syndication, to a fully fledged publishing company, with over 90 magazine brands. From Sport Illustrated, to their most notable Time, Time Inc. has truly made a name for themselves. And it wouldn’t be 2016 if every company didn’t have an online video service.
On September 13, 2016, Time Inc. delivered a mash-up content creating streaming service called PEN, which is short for People-Entertainment Weekly Network. This OTT, or over-the-top content, is said to reflect that of each company, as it attempts to lure viewers with its E!-like style and branding.
This free, advertisement sponsored website is set to bring various aspects of never before seen footage and uniquely specific content to the online world. With a typical show running time of 22 minutes, Time Inc. will allow a 60 second ad for every 8 minutes of programing.
President of the Time Inc. Entertainment and Sports Group and Video, Rich Battista stated “The People/Entertainment Weekly Network will distinguish itself by being the first free-to-consumer, advertiser-supported OTT service in the entertainment news category, creating original programming specifically designed for the lean-back, long-form environment.”
With over 50 hours of content debuting, PEN is expected to produce 15 original series and accumulate over 300 hours of video within the year. Through a variety of hardware, such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, and IOS and Android apps, PEN will be available for users across multiple platforms, with hopes to grow even further as OTT expands in the future. “Advertiser spending on OTT is projected to reach $40 billion in 2020, accounting for nearly half of all TV-related advertiser spending in that year.” So it is no wonder every company is jumping on this bandwagon.
People and Entertainment Weekly’s shared audience of 105 million are likely to make this site a success with programs like Time Inc.’s Emmy nominated documentary series A Year in Space, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, EW’s Fall TV Preview, Must List, and Bullseye. In addition, People-Entertainment Weekly Network will take a stab at live streaming, with its first being this years Emmy red carpet event. Jess Cagle stated “For the next year, I will not greenlight a story without there being a video component to that story.” This digital video service expects to expand and grow as content creation evolves in this rapidly changing technological world.
People-Entertainment Weekly Network is expected to produce new programming over the course of the next few months.