The Fairfax Media-owned Allure Media has been adding to its online brands ever since the media group acquired the independent digital publisher. The portfolio of nine brands is into double figures now with the arrival of Kin Community Australia, which will launch in September.
The US-based Kin Community was founded in 2007 and uses short-form video, delivered predominantly via social media channels such as YouTube, to reach young women around the world with home-focused content across food, home and DIY categories.
“Kin caught our attention by being in a super-complementary vertical focused on millennial women”
Allure Media CEO Jason Scott told Mediaweek Kin hadn’t been on Allure’s radar for a long time. “What we do at Allure is spend a lot of time watching trends in the media and publishing business and there were a few big things that started to collide when we looked at this particular business. That included video and the seemingly unstoppable growth of the mobile device. It also links into large-scale distribution platforms in the form of YouTube, but also growing social platforms. This version of content creation fuses creative people with large followings and Kin caught our attention by being in a super-complementary vertical focused on millennial women.”
Allure Media participated in a recent round of funding for Kin Community to help their growth plans, but Scott was not able to detail what size of an investment Allure made. “Partnerships are very key to Allure Media and being able to participate in the Kin funding was a terrific opportunity and it sat nicely alongside the opportunity to bring Kin into Australia.” Scott did say that Allure didn’t have equity in any other international brands it partners with in Australia.
“What we like about the Kin model is that the video tools and technologies available to the creative community have dramatically shrunk production costs without a lot of trade-off in quality”
Existing Allure brands that complement Kin Community in Australia include Popsugar, Who What Where, Byrdie and MyDomaine. “We are excited that we are able to continually bring new opportunities to the advertisers we work with,” said Scott. “We think Kin Community Australia will sit wonderfully as part of that dialogue.”
Allure will replicate the Kin Community business model from the US where the publisher delivers much of its content via YouTube. “The thing that caught our attention is how the traditional hurdles are being completely blown away as you look at the evolution of new markets. When you look at video production there used to be high production costs and a locked gate as far as distribution goes.
“What we like about the Kin model is that the video tools and technologies available to the creative community have dramatically shrunk production costs without a lot of trade-off in quality. When you start talking about using YouTube and other social networks the distribution piece becomes pretty compelling, both domestically and globally.”
Scott said Allure will be replicating that model in Australia, despite not using YouTube in any major way for content distribution until now. “This will be a great foray for us into what is a really fascinating video market. We like the model of having an integrated video experience as opposed to what the market has become used to – the pre-roll experience which for me doesn’t seem to have a long sustainable life. It was an interruption model that I didn’t really understand and it is something that consumers don’t really like.”
Allure is confident the YouTube business model offers something that works for Allure, as it has for Kin. “To be able to reach viewers across that and other platforms at scale through various targeting mechanisms sits beautifully alongside the ability to create custom content and native integrations.”
“As we exit FY 2016 our portfolio of assets is very well balanced”
When it comes to promoting Kin Community Australia, Scott said they are likely to develop spokespeople for the various channels. “In the US, Kin Community has a different face for food, a face for home and a face for DIY. At launch that helps you build brand recognition and the connection with the audience. If you ask me will we mirror that model, it is highly likely.”
Allure has just held its annual June 30 New Year’s Eve party which Scott said is used to set their agenda for the new financial year. “As we exit FY 2016 our portfolio of assets is very well balanced. The company has been going for 10 years and the brands Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Kotaku have been operating here for the decade. Popsugar is close to nine years old while Shopstyle is close to five years old. Business Insider continues to be nothing short of a phenomenon. If you look at its audience growth and revenue contributions it is a balanced portfolio. Clearly the newer brands we launched last year in WhoWhatWear, Byrdie and MyDomaine are well on their way in their journey of growth, but only seven months in.”
Scott said Allure takes a long-term view for anything it launches. “That is hugely important for our partners and it is also important for our staff. We are fortunate that we have a board and a parent in Fairfax that is super supportive of that.”
Allure operates offices also in Auckland and Singapore with Scott noting there is opportunity for growth outside Australia as it holds rights for south-east Asia for most of its brands. “Our partners operate big powerhouse brands globally and in the United States. South-east Asia offers amazing opportunities for us to keep growing.”