With its new Time Health wellness and health brand, Time Inc. hopes it has the prescription for improved engagement for readers and advertisers alike.
The online destination Time Health (time.com/time-health) will serve as a one-stop hub for health, medical and wellness content created across Time Inc.’s properties including Time, Health, Fortune, Cooking Light and Real Simple. Additional original content for Time Health will include an emphasis on shareable video, which users already heavily consume, says Kurt Fulepp, Time Inc.’s vice president and general manager of news.
“Health has been a cornerstone of what we do at Time for the last several decades … whether it be our coverage on Alzheimer’s or cancer to gene mapping and even to cosmetic surgery.” he said. “It’s really about thinking how do we do what all our brands are currently doing and driving organic audiences and large reach and … finding a very beautiful way to seamlessly thread that together under an umbrella brand that audiences will trust.”
Among content on the new Time Health site: multiple stories on heart health including stress and its effects on the heart and chest pains that are not heart attacks, and a gallery on celebrities talking about heart health. February is Heart Health Month and the American Heart Association is an advertiser for the site’s new cardiovascular section.
“Time Inc. is a trusted voice of the human story, and there is no human experience more personal than your health and the health of those you care about,” said Time’s Chief Content Officer Alan Murray in a statement. “Time Health will allow us to leverage the full scale of Time Inc. to provide authoritative coverage of this critical area to all our audiences.”
In addition to the Time Health site, which launched Thursday, the publisher will regularly print health-specific free magazines for physicians’ offices beginning in mid-2017. For example, a heart health issue would be available in cardiologists’ offices. Patients could pick up the magazine and read content from across Time Health and “more importantly, have that dialogue with your physician there at that point of care using our content and our expertise,” said Colan McGeehan, Time Inc’s vice president and general manager of its health and wellness group.
Collectively, the new online hub and new publications could lead to additional advertising opportunities, says McGeehan, who joined the company in November 2016 as part of Time Inc.’s move to bolster its health sales force and jumpstart sales. “By taking our brands and unifying them under one uber brand Time Health, it allows us to access all of those various advertisers not only just in the traditional sense but also you can take it a step further and start to partner with hospital relationships and insurance partners too even on some of their own experiences and their brand sites,” McGeehan said.
Video content creators will expand the range of viewable content with more VR and 360 video, Fulepp says. “Health is a tremendous playground for us … and particularly Time’s take on video is something we are incredibly excited for,” he said.
The expansion into directed health content comes as the publisher — its other magazine brands include People and Sports Illustrated — is being pursued by multiple potential buyers. Among the parties that have signed nondisclosure agreements to see Time Inc.’s financials are Des Moines, Iowa-based magazine publisher and broadcasting company Meredith Corp., and an investment group that includes Accretive LLC, whose managing partner Edgar Bronfman Jr., is the former chairman and CEO of Warner Music, and Access Industries, founded by entrepreneur Len Blavatnik.
Digital revenue is on the rise at Time Inc., but was not enough to slow the publisher’s declining revenue in the fourth quarter, the company said Thursday.
For the fourth quarter, Time Inc., posted revenue of $867 million, down from $877 million in the October-December period a year ago. That fell short of the $874.5 million expected by analysts polled by SP Global Market Intelligence.
Digital advertising revenue rose 63% to $166 million, while print advertising declined 10% to $343 million, the company said. Circulation fell 11% to $247 million. For the year, digital advertising rose 55% to $512 million.
Time Inc. reported net income of $56 million, up from $17 million a year ago. Earnings per share of 56 cents, compared to 15 cents a share a year ago, but fell below the 80 cents expected by analysts.
Time Inc. (TIME) shares were up 0.8% to $19.5 in early trading Thursday.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.