Time Inc. CEO: ‘CPMs Have Gone Up In Programmatic’

Time IncTime Inc. reported increasing digital revenues and declining print revenue for the third quarter.

Digital revenue rose 5% YoY, but that increase upped to 19% excluding the impact of corporate transactions related to the spinoff from Time Warner.

During September 2014, Time Inc. attracted 93.6 million multiplatform unique visitors, an increase of 27% from December 2013.

“We are selling Time Inc. as a single premium media network, with cross-brand, cross-marketing solutions,” said CEO Joe Ripp, adding that the response from advertisers so far has been positive.

Advertisers can buy Time Inc. inventory programmatically through this network. “Our CPMs have actually gone up in programmatic quite handsomely,” Ripp said.

Time Inc. offers premium content environments, a global scale of 130 million consumers and “unmatched consumer data assets.”

Time Inc., which has said before it uses “premium exchanges,” said CPMs are strong, with growth in mobile and video. The company is moving hard into video, where online inventory remains scarce.

Time Inc. creates 600-800 video segments a month, and will have 8,000 pieces of video content next year, up from 4,000 last year. Daily shows SI Now and People Now are among the video properties Time Inc. has created.

Ripp hopes that online video will enable Time Inc. to “participate in the television budgets” of its advertisers.

As a traditional media company, Time Inc. may be better poised to capture those budgets, and the company also fares well capturing “gross audience impressions” across print and digital. Ripp stated the monthly gross brand audience for Time Inc. was 367 million, “more than Meredith and Condé Nast combined.”

The Time Inc. network will offer opportunities for branding initiatives as well as programmatic. With salespeople selling across all Time properties, the company can create custom media programs that run across the entire network, an area that apparently has already generated marketer interest.

While Time Inc. emphasized its digital initiatives to investors, it still represents just a fraction of Time Inc.’s revenues. Digital contributes 15% to advertising revenues: $65 million to print’s $363 million.

As advertisers move budgets from print to digital, Time Inc. will suffer from the lower rates in the digital environments. Ripp attributed some declines to food, beauty and automotive advertisers shifting budgets to digital opportunities.

To monetize its growing digital audience, Time Inc. will also test paywalls across all sites in 2015.

Currently, 25% of subscriptions are digital. While the paywalls will generally be on a site-by-site basis, Time Inc. expressed interest in Next Issue Media, a tech startup that lets users access multiple magazine subscriptions from a single app.

“We want to make sure we’re getting paid for high-quality content we’re producing,” Ripp said. The company will have to balance charging for its content against another goal Ripp stated: creating additional volume with lower-cost, socially optimized content suited to the digital environment.

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