As the year comes to an end, many media outlets have announced plans to boost content for females. Media organisations like Mamamia and Nine.com.au’s 9Honey have revitalised their offerings to renew the market’s interest in the content they have on offer.
Attention turned to News Digital Networks Australia (News DNA) in September 2016 when it announced that it would be launching a digital destination for women early next year. The publisher hired Felicity Harley from Pacific Magazines to edit the website.
The executive editor of Women’s Network NewsLifeMedia Melissa Overman explained to Mediaweek, “The name WHIMN [pronounced women] stands for With Her In Mind Network. That is a really strong positioning for us, because this brand will cover so many different topics and voices.”
The offering will cover the usual verticals associated with women’s content including travelling, news and entertainment, lifestyle, careers, family and love. But the topics will be covered “in a smart, honest and fun way”, Overman said.
Asked if she is concerned about the competition from established brands like Mamamia and other user-generated content targeted at women, Overman said, “While it might seem like a cluttered environment, when we did the research into a women’s offering – we’ve been doing extensive research into this over many months – we found that there was a real gap in the market. It was a gap for websites speaking to slightly older women.
“At the moment they are going to overseas sites for that content, because it is popping up on their Facebook feeds or it is being shared by their friends. That content is resonating with them and they are enjoying it.
“We saw the opportunity to provide global content to a local audience.”
Overman was hesitant at first to identify what age group fits the “older women” description. “We hope all women will enjoy this content,” she said with a grin. “The audience that we identified who didn’t feel like they were specifically being spoken to is the 25-45 demographic.”
NewsLifeMedia has some renowned women’s brands under its umbrella including delicious., Vogue Australia and Kidspot – the latter being a parenting website for men and women with a skew to female readership.
“All of these sites and brands really understand their audience and have trusted relationships with them,” Overman pointed out. “We are launching this new brand with all of those insights and teams behind them. This brand [WHIMN] will be the spearhead of women’s content at News Corp.
“We’ve got a really good track record in speaking to them, understanding them and delivering what they want.”
WHIMN.com.au will have its own editorial team creating content for the website. “We will also be commissioning new content from global and a variety of voices.
“You will really feel that what you are getting from this website is different from everything that is out there in the local market. There has been a little bit of confusion around where the content for this site will be coming from. While we have all these brands – and that content will be available should we wish to highlight any of it on this new site – this is going to be a site very much dedicated to writing unique and bespoke content to a female audience.”
Having said that, Overman was quick to point out that WHIMN may leverage from other existing brands in the business. “We are about providing excellent content to women, so it would be remiss of us not to look at the other content that News Corp and News DNA produce. But this is definitely a unique proposition and it will have new content by a new team.”
Brands managed by Overman such as Body+Soul and Kidspot currently have or have had a printed counterpart in News Corp’s weekend papers. Asked if the team planning WHIMN is considering having a print equivalent for the new brand, Overman said: “This site is a completely digitally led proposition and brand. We don’t have any plans for that at the moment. That’s not to say we have shut the door on any sorts of new opportunities.
“Our focus is online, because we know that’s where the audience is.”
WHIMN will contain a high volume of multimedia content and ensure that content is available to its readers when and how they want to consume it, Overman said.
“We are going to produce our own video content, but we’re also commissioning and acquiring video content. We are open to everything at this moment. Our plans will be released over the coming months.”