- Time Inc. has introduced a new membership program for its People brand called People Perks that offers loyal readers discounts on products and experiences, according to a press release.
- The program is similar to PetHero, another Time Inc. paid membership initiative designed for pet owners, per the release. People Perks costs $60 per year or $5.99 per month and offers subscribers exclusive deals from participating partners in categories like dining, shopping, entertainment and travel.
- Members also can earn cash back for shopping online at retail outlets via the new program, as well as enter a sweepstakes to win VIP access to events like the Oscar Fan Experience, Tony Awards rehearsals the Entertainment Weekly/People Upfront Party. Time Inc. has a consumer base of 30 million subscribers and 127 million unique visitors online each month.
Time Inc.'s new program for People illustrates how publishers and those with heavy print presences, in particular, are searching out ways to sustain their business amid tough headwinds. Print revenues and subscriptions continue to plunge and ad block adoption has upended even digital's limited revenue streams. Publishers like Time Inc. are then forced to get creative and move into new areas, including ones with direct ties to consumer behavior in programs like People Perks.
With People Perks, Time Inc. appears to be betting on its large readership's drive to access deals and exclusive offers connected to the publication. One concern with this move could be a further blurring of lines between editorial and promotional content.
Time Inc. competitor Hearst is also realigning its strategy to focus more on tying its editorial suite to e-commerce sales. Hearst has been making tech and data science investments to pull together its subscriber and billing information, email lists and online visitors to create a dataset it says can compete with Google and Facebook. The goal is to help brands connect with consumers at the bottom-of-the-funnel moment where purchases happen and, to that end, Hearst said it's created 120 million unique digital consumer profiles over the past year.