(VIDEO) Time Inc. CEO Ripp: Magazines Excel At Reader Engagement And ROI

CANNES - Believing that so much advertising has become noise, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp thinks the best way for advertisers to engage with consumers is to engage with the best story tellers. No surprise that they include magazine editors.

In an interview with Beet.TV, Ripp extols the virtues of magazines by citing a recent Nielsen Catalina Solutions study showing that they yield the highest return on advertising spend. Then he points to the popularity of the print medium based on what readers are willing to pay for People.

"People magazine charges $115 a year for that subscription. We sell millions of them," Ripp says.

This is not to suggest that digital is an afterthought for Time Inc., which recently spent what Advertising Age reports was approximately $87 million to acquire certain assets of Viant, the parent of MySpace. Noting that while much digital intelligence to date has come from browser cookies and the probability they infer, Ripp explains that Viant has deterministic data.

"We know what your household is, what TV shows you watch, we know what you do on your iPhone, what you do at your desktop," Ripp says. "We can target you very specifically."

According to Ripp, the Nielsen Catalina study reinforces the concept that ads are an integral part of the content for which magazine readers are willing to spend money. It's one of the reasons why Time Inc. last year created The Foundry, the Brooklyn-based facility where some of the company's senior writers and editors are helping advertisers engage with readers.

"We've always been good at creating stories that engage," Ripp says.

The company is also knee-deep in video content, having turned out about 43 thousand videos last year and anticipating producing more this year. "Video is the new form of distribution of content. It's a great vehicle for advertisers to engage," he says.

This video part of "Beyond the Pre-Roll: the Transformation of Video Advertising," a series produced at Cannes Lion 2016, sponsored by ConvertMedia.  For more videos from the series, please visit this page.

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