At the close of last year and the start of this year, several digital publishers that pushed hard into video were hit with layoffs. Among those publishers, which included Buzzfeed, Defy Media, and Vox Media, was Refinery29 — a company that ended up sending home 34 employees (7.5% of its staff) for good. Those layoffs were caused by what co-CEOs Philippe Von Borries and Justin Stefano called a
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the company is launching a 24/7 linear channel. Dubbed Channel29, the live and on-demand lifestyle destination stream will combine video, events, and shopping. The company will launch the channel across major connected devices, smart TVs, and the it’s existing digital platforms. The goal of the new channel for R29 is to drive viewership, impact and commerce “from the smartphone to the living room.”
The content on the new channel will be “radically inclusive,” intended to subvert category norms of what lifestyle content is for women. R29 says the programming will bring new perspective to trending news, fashion, beauty, shopping, and wellness
conversations. Though, it was not confirmed if content on Channel29 would be exclusive to the 24/7 stream or not, it is unlikely that it will be. At most, the content might debut on the channel and be packaged for VOD streaming across the company’s social channels and O&O website.
Among the digital industry, there have been mixed emotions in regard to OTT TV Cchannels. In a recent interview with VideoInk, Machinima GM Russell Arons explained what made her nervous about launching a 24/7 channel on Twitch.
“I got nervous that we were devaluing the library, because if you’re putting something up, in essence for free, and only a few people are watching you’ve almost said ‘well its worthless’ when it isn’t not,” explained Arons. “So that is really what were rethinking right now, about what do you really program with and is it really wise to be exploiting all our years of content.”
But for others like Damian Pelliccione, the CEO of Revry, a LGBTQ-centric streaming service that recently launched on Pluto TV, having a 24/7 channel has proven to be successful at driving traffic back to the streaming platform and widening the service’s audience.
In addition to Channel29, which is expected to launch in Q4 2018, the company is also launching “Beauty Evolution,” the media company’s first-ever Snapchat show. The new series is a mobile adaptation of its “Beauty Evolution” tutorial series.