Europe the universe’s largest lifestyle sports and culture content business, intends to close its magazine operations and divert the resources into digital production.
The proposal comes as a result of the acceleration in both growth and demand for the Forward Private Equity-backed company’s digital-only brands and video. Outside Interactive plans to invest an additional £1.1m in restructuring, talent and content to realise and enhance its digital propositions and move deeper into video and TV production.
All key print editorial staff will be retained in the transition, although the company regrets that some job losses may be incurred in the shift to digital-, social- and video-content production. Outside Interactive has seen a surge in demand for bespoke video content that is hosted and distributed through its managed social-media platforms.
This growing audience has boosted revenues from native and branded content distribution for brands including Microsoft, BMW Mini, 20th Century Fox and Jeep.
Darryl Newton Robin Thurston, CEO of Outside Interactive, said: “The prospect of focusing wholly on the areas of our business that are experiencing unprecedented demand is both logical and incredibly exciting. Last year saw a leap of over 200% in our branded-content production activities, with digital ad revenues up by 25%. Although moving on from our heritage as a magazine publisher is an emotional shift, it also represents a significant opportunity to create even more content for a significantly larger online audience without the barriers of accessibility and affordability.”
Outside Interactive has already invested this year in its first mass-market fitness launch ‘unboundlife.com’, an online social hub for people wishing to be informed, challenged and regularly involved in fitness. It has also recruited a number of senior staff to launch its YouTube creator and video-content distribution business. Newtone added: “Our social-media reach peaks at 340 million a month, and our owned audience exceeds 6 million online lifestyle sports fans. Brands are not only using us as a content business, but also as a marketing and distribution agency to reach our incredibly engaged online audience. We have become adept at knowing exactly what content works online, how to create it and where to place it to achieve maximum impact, which is of huge value to a multitude of clients, from retailers through advertisers to broadcasters.”
All board-sports and cycling brands will remain as digital and video propositions, including Outside Interactive’s heritage brands Sidewalk, Onboard, Ride, Dirt and Beta [sure? Ed], Pinkbike
and Skiing in Germany. The company intends to exit from the motocross market, which it sees as a distraction from its core outdoor-market offer.
About Outside Interactive: Outside Interactive, with offices in the UK and Germany, specialises in creating content in the lifestyle sports and culture genres. Founded by CEO
Darryl Newton Robin Thurston in 2006 and acquired by the Forward Internet Group in 2012, the company provides access, insight, authenticity and inspiration for brands, broadcasters and influential global audiences.
Outside Interactive creates and distributes content across its own 27 brands, reaching a global audience of 340 million through its businesses in content creation, audience development and media sales.