Following its partnership with ecommerce site Wayfair to reinvent TV shopping, A+E Networks is diving deeper into incorporating branded content with its broadcast programming with a new partnership with publishing giant Hearst. This deal allows brand marketers to work with the digital divisions of Hearst magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Elle to create branded content to be aired during commercial breaks on A+E’s cable networks and digital properties. The network is also planning to open up its “enthusiast” blocks, which are hours of themed programs A+E launched this summer, for brands to sponsor.
What Brands Should Do
This partnership provides a new distribution channel for the branded content that Hearst is creating for marketers, which currently lives on its own sites and on social platforms. As we pointed out in the Ad Avoidance section of our Outlook 2016, branded content serves as a good way to engage increasingly ad-avoidant consumers, and more brands should take advantage of this opportunity to reach fans of A+E shows. For example, to fully engage its target audience, a fashion retailer may sponsor a fashion-themed content block on Lifetime and punctuate it with branded videos on hot fashion trends created with Elle.