With Help of Data, Time Inc. Dives Into Membership Program

The major magazine publisher announced its first membership program this week, a pet-services offering. The company is taking advantage of the wealth of data it has on its readers.

One of the best-known names in the publishing world is wholeheartedly embracing the membership model.

This week, Time Inc. announced the launch of PetHero, a benefits program for pet owners that combines veterinary discounts with a quarterly subscription box package, along with other pet-related services. Unlike many of Time Inc.’s better-known offerings, PetHero does not rely on a publishing component.

One thing it does rely on is the publisher’s massive trove of consumer data. In fact, in a news release announcing the launch, Time Inc. Chief Operating Officer and President of Digital Jen Wong described the company as “one of the largest direct-marketing companies in the U.S.”

“We use this knowledge to rapidly develop new consumer products and services, like PetHero, that we can market directly to our large, direct customer base,” she said.

Time Inc. says that, through its various platforms, it has access to more than 100 million customers who either have pets or are pet lovers.

The company knows this because it has been working across its brands in recent months to leverage data, including data that suggests the types of stories users might read.

“There’s a lot of information across our customer base that tells us a lot more information about who these people are and what they are and what kind of content they want,” said Leslie Dukker Doty, Time Inc.’s executive vice president of consumer marketing and revenue, in comments to Digiday.

PetHero is the first new business endeavor launched under CEO Rich Battista, who told Bloomberg TV that Time Inc. is looking at other ways to expand its database in the coming months.

He added that PetHero highlights a new direction for the company. “We typically sold people magazines! We did a great job at it, but that’s all we did,” Battista said.

Time Inc. plans to launch another membership program later this year, according to a news release.

(PetHero screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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