(New York, NY, December 19, 2001) – Imagine the power of the most trusted magazine brand in parenting, coming to life on the television with new and exciting programs that delve deeply into subjects like maternity leave, breastfeeding and home births – all at the click of a button on a cable television remote control. Or just think about watching, at your own pace, the step-by-step restoration of a 1965 Ford Mustang in your living room and then heading to your garage to start your own classic car restoration project. Missed a step? No problem. Just replay the exact information you need. The power of video-on-demand will make all of this possible, and the companies that will bring it to you are Rainbow Media's recently launched Mag Rack service, and Primedia, the leading targeted media company with the world's largest collection of enthusiast magazines.
Building on Rainbow Media's MetroChannels and Primedia's NEW YORK magazine's existing joint venture relationship which launched newyorkmetro.com, a unique local New York Internet website, the two companies announced today that they will seek to develop and market new video magazine rack offerings serving highly targeted audiences through Rainbow Media's Mag Rack video-on-demand service.
The companies intend to join the editorial authority and brand power of Primedia's targeted magazines with Mag Rack's content innovation to provide viewers with an entirely new content experience. They plan to initially focus on creating the definitive video-on-demand programming for parenting and automotive enthusiast audiences, leveraging the resources of American Baby, Automobile, Hot Rod and MotorTrend magazines.
Launched in September 2001, Mag Rack delivers special interest programming that explores a wide range of topics that are unavailable elsewhere on television. Just like a newsstand, customers can choose from Mag Rack's ever expanding selection of "video magazines," viewing with the convenience and control of video-on-demand. Mag Rack is available on Cablevision's iO digital service and is being marketed to other distributors nationwide.
The two companies intend to focus on opportunities to develop new content, and to implement co-branding and cross-promotional initiatives, extending the reach of American Baby, Automobile, Hot Rod and Motor Trend and other Primedia titles onto an important new content platform, and giving Mag Rack a marketing avenue to reach millions of passionate customers. Those opportunities include: co-development of new programming, using the magazines editors as hosts and content advisors; licensing of content from Primedia's extensive collection of niche videos; and use of Primedia's significant production resources. Primedia's About.com, which serves 30 million unique Web users with enthusiast content on the Web, could also be included in the cross-promotion and direct marketing initiatives that are developed.
"Primedia's magazine brands, like American Baby and Automobile, are strong brands that have millions of passionate readers and enthusiasts who trust and value their editorial expertise and content. Primedia also has hours and hours of targeted video content that will be very valuable in serving these audiences," said Matt Strauss, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Rainbow's Mag Rack. "As distributors begin to roll-out their Subscription Video-On-Demand and Video-On-Demand services, we believe that developing content with magazine publishers like Primedia, which have deep experience serving passionate audiences, would further enhance Mag Rack's strength with operators and its resonance with viewers."
"Personalized, on-demand video is the next wave in television. Mag Rack is poised to ride that wave, serving the interests of passionate, niche audiences and enthusiasts as SVOD and VOD services roll out across the country," said Jim Ritts, president and CEO of Primedia Television. "We are confident that, working with Mag Rack, we could strengthen our brands, extend their reach onto television, and work to make Mag Rack an even greater force in special interest programming."
Primedia is the leading special interest magazine publisher with more than 280 titles such as ,I>Seventeen, Teen, Automobile, Power & Motor Yacht and Fly Fisherman. The titles mesh closely with a number of topics under consideration for new Mag Rack video magazines including: fishing, gardening, horses, how-to, music instruction, and boating. Mag Rack has already launched 18 video magazines including, American Catholic (Catholicism), BirdSight (Bird watching), Bridal (Weddings), Classic Cars (Automotive), Club Vegetarian (Vegetarian cooking), Destination: Nature (Nature), Mag Rack: Showcase (a compilation service) Maximum Science (Science), Mission: Space (Space), Motorcycle Freedom (Motorcycles), Natural Health (Health), Photography Close Up (Photography), Wine World (Wine). By the end of this year, Mag Rack will have nearly 20 video magazines, and plans for 40 to 50 video magazines by the end of 2002.
American Baby magazine is America's most trusted baby magazine for more than three generations, reaching more than 2 million subscribers every month through its high-quality print and online content, which provides advice and support to expectant and new parents. In addition, an alliance would enhance the already launched Classic Cars "video magazine" available on Mag Rack by tapping into titles like Automobile, MotorTrend and Hot Rod. Automobile reaches millions of viewers every month through its articles and regular columns on topics such as appearance and performance of recently introduced domestic and foreign automobiles, vintage automobiles, and prominent people and collectors in the auto industry. Motor Trend is enjoyed by more than six million readers who are both new-model shoppers, as well as avid enthusiasts looking for information on latest cars, SUV's and trucks as well as the best in after-market accessories. Hot Rod is the world's largest and most widely recognized automotive performance title, covering technical information, industry commentary and new trends.
www.Newyorkmetro.com was launched in August 2001 with content and enhanced features which build upon the regional strength and resources of Primedia's NEW YORK Magazine and Rainbow Media's MetroChannels and add the neighborhood oriented information and resources from Primedia's About.com Guides. Rainbow Media's MetroChannels and Primedia's NEW YORK magazine are 50-50 joint venture partners in the website.
About Rainbow Media
Mag Rack is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and NBC, Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, WE: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports Networks, News 12 Networks, and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net. Mag Rack is one of the assets included Cablevision's Rainbow Media Group tracking stock. MGM owns a 20% stake in four of Rainbow's national networks