Hearst Rolls Out YouTube Project Across Editorial Franchises Cosmopolitan, Harper’s BAZAAR, Marie Claire, Seventeen and more included in launch.

SOURCE: www.audiencedevelopment.com BY T. J. RAPHAEL

Hearst Magazines is hoping to leverage YouTube’s hundreds of millions of viewers by launching two online video channels that will deliver reimagined content from its editorial properties on the web.

“Part of this is very much about innovation,” says Kimberly Lau, vice president of business development for Hearst Magazines Digital Media. “This gives us an opportunity to do some serious development in the video space. We want to focus on the social platform that is YouTube—it’s an audience that we’ve really never focused on before, so we’re very excited about the opportunity to be part of this initiative. YouTube has created an opportunity that allows us to maintain creative oversight and control of what we’re producing and to ultimately fully own all of our content.”

The “Hello Style” channel Hearst has developed will officially launch April 15 with five new shows and archival content that was previously unavailable on YouTube. This channel is collaboration between several of the publisher’s titles, including Cosmopolitan, Harper’s BAZAAR, Marie Claire, Seventeen and RealBeauty.com.

Next month, Hearst will debut six new shows for the company’s “Car and Driver TV” YouTube channel—the publisher’s automotive-focused brands will introduce viewers to programming from Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics and Road & Track magazines.

“We haven’t historically seen great click-through off of our [YouTube] platform to our [website] platforms so I don’t know that there is a huge focus on actual traffic driving,” says Lau. “We’re not looking at this as a syndication relationship like we might with some of our partners. I think this is more about building a video engaged audience on the YouTube platform, and building content that allows us to extend our brand franchises to existing and new audiences.”

Content that readers normally consume in print will be translated to the small screen. “Big Girl in a Skinny World,” normally a column in Marie Claire magazine, will be transformed into a web series for the “Hello Style” channel. Similarly, “Sexy vs. Skanky,” a monthly staple of Cosmopolitan magazine, will also be reimaged for the “Hello Style” channel. The programs will be produced both by in-house Hearst production teams and third-party companies. Existing social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will be used to promote the new YouTube channels and the videos they will host.

“One of the things YouTube was looking to their content partners to provide is a full plan around distribution,” says Lau. “We’re really focused on trying to leverage all the points we have—for the ‘Hello Style’ channel, there will be some advertisements that show up in the print magazines. Some of our editors are mentioning their shows in their letters from the editors. We’re using all of our assets. For online, we’re building templates that will house YouTube video players so we can run and promote all of these shows on our own websites. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, we’ll be using Pinterest to pin videos from our various channels.”

So far, both channels will initially introduce at least 6 online-only programs. YouTube will be selling advertising for these channels; though it is possible videos will be integrated with individual advertising sponsors in the future.

“This is part of the grand experiment in what we’re trying to figure out, and how we do these things within the time frame we have to produce,” she says. “We’ve still got a lot more to sort through, but we’re certainly open to finding the monetization opportunities that make the most sense.”

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