“This is a deal with multiple prongs,” Cyrus Beagley, SVP and general manager of Time Inc.’s Advertising Sales & Marketing Group, tells FOLIO:. “There are three main pieces, and the first is content. We’re going to be working with Sprint over the next several months to create a customizable mobile app within the SprintZone, which comes pre-loaded on Sprint phones and will leverage our brands to provide the latest in entertainment, lifestyle, sports and business news.”
The content within SprintZone will be updated in real time, pulling stories, photography and video from Time Inc. brands, with users able to customize their experience by brand.
“The essence there is to try to create a really compelling daily content snacking experience that leverages the breadth of our brands,” says Beagley. “We’re working on what content will be there and how it’s packaged, but we really want to make this into a compelling content experience for consumers using the SprintZone.”
The deal, which has been several months in the making, will also include advertising and retail integration. When it comes to mobile advertising, Time Inc.’s mobile network of 20 million users, and Sprint’s targeted advertising service, Pinsight Media+, will be leveraged for collaboration, though specifics are still being worked out, Beagley says.
“We want to collaborate to create new mobile advertising solutions for our respective customers and leverage the breadth of our networks,” adds Beagley.
Beagley pointed to Time Amplify as one example where the company is already doing this. Time Amplify provides opportunities to maximize the sponsorship experience by including the advertiser’s message with Time Inc. content in a large format ad unit, which is then distributed on other third-party sites.
Time Inc. already has a relationship with Apple’s iAd, which is built into the iOS operating system that powers iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, allowing brands to incorporate a variety of rich interactive experiences in an ad.
“This additional relationship with Sprint will give us an opportunity to extend this even further across Android and Sprint devices,” says Beagely.
Time Inc. will also provide content for Sprint’s retail stores—the device and network provider will use branded content to demonstrate the capabilities of their devices in-store.
“There is a lot of work to be done here and different pieces will be moving at different speeds,” he says. “We certainly want to take this app opportunity to drive people to subscriptions, additional paid content offerings or paid apps, though we’ll have to figure out exactly how that flow works as we develop it with Sprint.”