6 STREAMING MEDIA January/February 2017
behind the screens
Time, Inc. Is All About the Data By Nadine Krefetz
Jen Wong, COO and president of digital at Time, Inc., talked with Streaming Media bout how video content production
and advertising reach is being driven by the
data the company captures across its 100 media brands.
Q: From your roots as a subscription print maga-
zine company to acquiring ad-tech company Viant,
what does data acquisition mean to you?
Data is really important to our marketer clients and partners. They are trying to optimize
their ROI in both content and advertising. Data
is critical for them to understand 1) how good
was their marketing, 2) what worked and how
do I make it better, and 3) because we are a
big direct-to-consumer company today we primarily use that marketing engine to sell magazines. Data is an integral part to the growth of
that business as we take that marketing engine
and apply it to products and services beyond
print magazines. It’s an underlying platform
across everything that we do.
Q: How has data changed the media industry?
There are “haves” and “have nots.”… Our
belief is that deterministic, people-based data
(where your activity is tracked across device, so when you log into Time magazine on
desktop, tablet, phone, etc., your activity is
captured), where you know
Jen Wong’s email, her device
graph (or a record of her activity across all the devices she
is on), is more valuable [than
We are a “have” for multiple
reasons. We have 30 million actives, with cards on files, even
more when you have our full
historical subscriber list. With
Viant, we have 250 million IDs.
Put those together and we are
one of the most data-rich media companies.
Then you have TV companies who have
been wholesalers where you ride on other
people’s network and they have never had to
have a conversation with a consumer. Never had a credit card, never had to know who
their end viewer was in great detail. Certainly never had to know them at the “Jen Wong
email” level. I think in a world where the internet is forcing media businesses and directing media businesses to become more direct
to consumer, that data is becoming more and
Q: How is leveraging a data feedback loop making
your company more agile?
What we’re doing as a company is becoming very metrics-driven. In some cases, it’s
a bit of a cultural change. … We’ve radically changed how we produce our core product, because our editors are deep in the
data. They know exactly how their content
performed every minute of every day. It’s
fun to watch editors get competitive and be
focused on it. … In a very compressed time
frame, Viant overnight can look at point-of-sale data to see what happen[ed] as a result
of the campaign. It underpins everything we
do. It’s changing how we work as a company
and allowing us to adjust everything we do at
a much faster rate.
Time, Inc. is one of
the most data-rich
says Jen Wong, the
company’s COO and
president of digital.