Time CEO Jess Sibley talks Podcast and Time Studios expansion – The Hollywood Reporter
to celebrate TimeOn its 100th anniversary, the iconic publication’s Manhattan office will have a new addition: A work of art, an oversized mirror, with the first number-based graphic overlay. took place on March 3, 1923.
The artwork created by Mungo Thomson was a gift to the office from Timeowners of, Marc and Lynne Benioff. And it will be Thomson’s third duplicated Time pieces to find a house in the hall of Timeoffice overlooking Bryant Park.
Time published a series of centennial editorials on Tuesday, including contributions from the Dalai Lama, Spike Lee, Laverne Cox, former editors Nancy Gibbs and Rick Stengel, and family events. Weddings take place throughout the year.
While Thomson’s piece is for TimeIt’s also a fitting metaphor as Time CEO Jessica Sibley pursues what she calls “Time 3.0,” about creating “the next chapter in our future and underpinning our next 100 years.” this incredible brand and business.”
If Time 1.0 represents Timeprint magazine’s long history and Time 2.0 represents its position as an independent business starting in 2018 (after the sale of the former Time Inc. magazine to Meredith Corp.), Time 3.0 represents those what’s next.
And Sibley, who started at Time about 100 days ago (her first date is November 21) has a long list of business areas she plans to help build, from expanding existing events and media businesses, to new business ventures such as podcasts, a network collaborator and digital commerce.
And she has to do it while also hitting the ball Timeits brand and make it relevant to consumers who may not be nostalgic for magazine covers with red borders.
“We have this incredible, iconic brand, and in my 100 days I asked so many different people what Time what do you mean?” Sibley said, recalling conversations with the likes of Jeffrey Katzenberg, chef Ariana Bundy and her own children. you know, ‘it makes history when it’s in Timewhen it’s in Time, that’s history.’ And how do we make it relevant? Time coming and in the future? For me, it’s all about reinventing the brand and making it relevant yet modern and reaching new audiences that matter and make sense.”
That strategy includes digital transformation with the aforementioned commercial effort and contributor platform as well as in new business ventures like Time Sites and the Red Border branded content division.
But perhaps the most significant effort is at Time Studios, the company’s in-house production company. As the developer of both scripted and unscripted films, Sibley said Time Studios currently accounts for about 25% of the company’s revenue, which reached $100 million.
“I’ve never seen a business like this in any media company that sells these movies to Amazon and Netflix,” Sibley said.
There are currently 33 projects in various stages of development, both scripted and non-scripted. Among them are an anthology of screenplays at Amazon based on the Women of the Year project and a TV series based on the legendary New York deli establishment Russ & Dau Girls.
“I don’t think the DNA of Time Ian Orefice, president and CEO of Time Studios, said that has changed from when it was started to now, but the way we make it happen has changed fundamentally. “If you look at that project [the Russ & Daughters series], which is telling a story to America. It is to tell a story about the American dream and the greatest city in the world, told through Russ & Daughters. So, the cross-over is about how we take the human experience as Russ & Daughters and tell this whole story?”
Orefice says that after getting the studio started by bringing early concepts to market, Time Studios now sees about 50% of its business coming from streaming networks or services that reach it with idea.
But many projects can still be traced to their origins Timenewspapers.
“I say this when we talk to creators or networks, we really have the best development team in the world, but over the last 100 years they have made a different kind of product,” Orefice said. “And now they’re developing stories that will come to life on TV and movies.”
Consider the work of Simon Shuster, who was in Ukraine a few weeks before the Russian invasion last year. That report has become an integral part of the archive When Truth Is Not Truth: The Story of Rudy Giulianilaunched on MSNBC earlier this month.
During a tour TimeIn his office last week, Sibley displayed two existing works by Mungo Thomson, as well as an internal video studio that the company has used extensively for Giuliani documentary and a newly built podcast studio, will be the home for its new endeavor in that space: Character of the week.
The podcast will be an “in-depth, hour-long podcast each week about who we will enlighten,” according to Orefice, hosted by Time reporter Charlotte Alter. Depending on who “that person” that week is, the podcast might include an interview with them or a detailed profile based on Time report (the head of the NTSB may be willing to talk about railway safety. Vladimir Putin does not appear to be willing to talk about Ukraine).
And Time Studios is also playing an important role for the company as most of the media industry grapples with an increasingly difficult environment for both advertising and subscriptions.
“We are already growing 10% in 2021 and 20% in 2022, so we are in a growing position. Having me here as the new CEO signifies an investment in our business and we will continue to invest and grow,” Sibley said. “Look, I’ve been through these cycles several times in my career where there are ups and downs in the media business. If you have a business as diverse as ours, you can really sustain and sustain and grow in areas that don’t necessarily fit those kinds of constraints.”
“And I think Studios is a great example of that, no matter what happens in the media business,” added Sibley. It’s a completely separate business…. So we’ve really been able to calibrate, optimize our business so that — we’re not immune to that — but we can continue to deliver on all of our priorities.”
And Orefice adds that a possible slowdown in spending from major TV networks and streaming services doesn’t necessarily mean that Time Studios’ business is slowing down.
“I think it’s a bit overblown, because you’re talking about a slowdown caused by explosive growth,” Orefice said. “So let’s see where we are compared to even 3 years ago: It’s still up significantly… But the other part is, even though we’re really proud of our growing scripted business. ourselves, but much of our business is non-fiction. And you’re seeing nonfiction books continue to grow on the network. So even in the potential for growth to slow down, there’s still an increase in non-fiction book distribution, so that puts us in a really good position.”
But Time Studios isn’t Sibley’s only bet. The commercial effort — launched in partnership with Taboola — is also considered a multi-year endeavor. And other divisions include Time Sites, a web3 and NFT business (“we’ll see how that transforms next year with crypto winter,” she said), and a So does a BtoB climate consulting business called Time CO2 that is taking up her time.
And this is TimeSibley’s fledgling network of collaborators (one Forbes veterans) said to focus on a “very small and exclusive” group of writers who will move into Time when they have something important or profound to say. (TimeIts website hit 18 million unique visitors in January, according to Comscore.)
“We’re going to have Bill Gates, we’ve got Angelina Jolie, Arianna Huffington,” Sibley said. “[The Female Quotient CEO] Shelley Zalis wrote a post when she announced Flipping Point in Davos, revolving around equity pay, taking 5 years instead of 132. Intel CEO [Patrick Gelsinger]Jon Meacham, and the incredible array of thought leaders we will continue to build and bring into our network are, once again, truly tied to TimeAnd when they have something important to say, they just say it to us.”
In the end, Sibley is betting that TimeGlobalization’s brand equity (visible through the Time 100 and its success in places like WEF in Davos), can translate into a global business, built on a foundation of journalism and trust. respect from the audience.
“I see a lot of opportunity for Time globally to have more of a global footprint through all of these platforms,” Sibley said, adding that Time’s international business has grown 40% year over year. same period last year in 2022.
“We are highlighting and telling the stories of people who are doing extraordinary things to build a better future and have incredible impact, from politics, culture and entertainment, everywhere, ” she said.