REFINERY29 UNVEILS NEW VIDEO CONTENT, LIVE EVENTS, KEY PARTNERSHIPS AND LAUNCH OF CHANNEL29, A PREMIUM LIVE AND ON DEMAND CONTENT DESTINATION AT THIS YEAR’S NEWFRONTS
Company activates socially impactful slate with world-class talent including Christine Vachon, Rachel Bloom and partnerships with Google, CBS News, Planned Parenthood, Facebook and more.
NEW YORK – May 2, 2018 – Refinery29, the leading digital media and entertainment company for young women, returns to the NewFronts stage to announce a slate of new programming that will extend its commitment to culturally relevant topics from entertainment and politics, to global style, beauty, and claiming financial power.
This year’s slate includes collaborations with activists like Aija Mayrock and Michaela Angela Davis, award-winning talent such as Christine Vachon, Rachel Bloom and brand partners including Kate Spade, Planned Parenthood, Google, CBS, and Facebook.
This year’s presentation is focused on the expansion of Refinery29’s core businesses and deepening the relationship with, and service to, Refinery29’s audience:
● LIVE EVENTS: Building off the popularity of 29Rooms — an experiential event that created a new category in the marketplace and attracted over 45,000 attendees in 2017 in New York and LA — Refinery29 is announcing the expansion of its flagship live event to San Francisco and Chicago. With roots in storytelling and culture, this year’s event will now reach at-home audiences with livestream programming in partnership with Facebook Anthology.
● VIDEO: Refinery29 is also announcing more than ten new and six returning original series. Key partnerships include R29’s first Snapchat show and a six-part documentary series chronicling the fight for LGBTQ civil rights in America with Christine Vachon. Returning series include Try Living with Lucie, The Mention, Style Out There, and more.
● CHANNEL29: Combining video, events, and shopping, Refinery29 is set to launch a live and on-demand lifestyle destination called Channel29 in Q4 2018 across connected devices and the company’s existing digital platforms. The channel will strengthen Refinery29’s audience relationship through radically inclusive content — driving viewership, impact and commerce from the smart phone to the living room.
● PARTNERSHIPS: Refinery29 pairs strong audience insights with strategic innovative partners in service of the brand’s audience and commercial business. From traditional to trending, these partners span channels, platforms, and categories. Key partnerships include a VR180 original series with Daydream by Google, an Instagram-first short film series with Kate Spade and an in-depth study with CBS NEWS.
“Our theme this year is ‘“The World of Abundance: Don’t Change The Channel… Channel The Change”’ because more than ever, we are incorporating a philosophy of abundant thinking, favoring generosity over scarcity, both in our content and our mission,” said Amy Emmerich, Chief Content Officer at Refinery29. “Our audience continues to inspire us with their courage and passion and we could not be more proud to continue to serve them, alongside a fantastic slate of partners.”
As part of its commitment to social impact and changing consciousness, Refinery29 also commissioned a study which showed that audiences react more positively to content that tackles socially relevant issues — especially those that resonate and reflect their own lives. Viewers’ perceptions of themselves became significantly more optimistic and confident after watching this content. Key findings can be found below.
“At Refinery29, we know that creating socially impactful content is a core value of our company and one of the fundamental elements to our success,” said Sarah Personette, Refinery29’s Chief Operating Officer. “Our deep knowledge and insights about this powerful demographic helps us understand what our audience cares about and what motivates them. This data helps us to better inform our partners and power innovative collaborations for them to directly engage with one another and drive economic impact for their businesses.”
The brand is also unveiling a comprehensive site redesign that strengthens the focus on consumer action: from discover, to watch, and shop. This latest redesign includes custom ad products that eliminate the friction between content discovery and consumer action for brands in a people-first play that derives from audience affinity for the brand.
Additionally, Refinery29 has seen engagement and viewership growth across platforms. Over the past year, time spent on Refinery29 video has reached 4.1 billion minutes, 68 million hours, 3 million days and 7,719 years. Video has seen 720% increase in watch time on YouTube, as well as a 132% rise in audience engagement on Instagram.
Refinery29’s 2018 Programming Slate Includes:
America. The Beautiful – In partnership with Executive Producer and host Michaela angela Davis, premium documentary series America. The Beautiful explores the unique experiences of black women who are redefining American politics, culture and style– one city at a time.
Pay No Attention – Fresh off their highly buzzed about 2018 Sundance partnership on White Rabbit, director Daryl Wein (Fox Searchlight’s Lola Versus) and star Vivian Bang (Sullivan & Son, Swedish Dicks, the forthcoming Unt. Ali Wong/Russell Park Feature from Netflix) team up again to present Pay No Attention, a half-hour dramedy about an Asian American woman who feels invisible in everyday life. Co-written and co-executive produced by Wein and Bang, the scripted series ultimately tells the story of breaking down stereotypes in order to find one’s voice and purpose.
Pride – Executive produced by legendary independent filmmaker and co-founder of Killer Films, Christine Vachon, Pride is a six-part documentary series chronicling the fight for LGBTQ civil rights in America, as seen through the lens of our national history and our biggest cultural and political events.
Returning and New Series:
Shady – After a successful pilot episode on counterfeit cosmetics that went viral with over 19 million views, 30,000 comments and 280,000 reactions and shares, Refinery29 is launching Shady, the series that will pull back the curtain on the half-billion dollar industry and ask the tough questions about the booming business of beauty.
Beauty Evolution – Refinery29 will be launching the brand’s first Snapchat show, which reimagines Beauty Evolution for a mobile-first audience.
The Campaigners- Spotlighting today’s female activists and the causes they care about across the world, the unscripted user generated content series encourages viewers to believe in themselves. The first episode will feature activist and author of the bestselling book, The Survival Guide to Bullying, Aija Mayrock, and her campaign for gender equality amongst young people.
Unbothered Presents – Refinery is proud to celebrate the success of Unbothered, a dedicated Instagram channel made for and by black millennial women, celebrating the beauty, strength, and power in their community. Now Unbothered will launch a social video series in Q3 2018.
Unstyled: Home – Based on the success of fashion-first podcast and newsletter, R29 Global Editor in Chief Christene Barberich will move conversation about life, work and personal style into the living rooms of style luminaries with Unstyled: Home.
Women of Note – Women are the single most disruptive force in the world today. Refinery29’s new tentpole, Women of Note, celebrates that disruption by flipping this script, tearing down outmoded societal structures, giving women the tools to get their dreams funded, and helping bring better female-designed products & thinking into the world. Because when she thrives, we all rise.
29Rooms – Now in its fourth year, Refinery’s groundbreaking experiential franchise, 29Rooms, will be expanding to San Francisco and Chicago this summer. In September, 29Rooms will also be broadcast via a mobile-first experience co-developed with Facebook Anthology, a branded content program designed to re-invent the way brands connect with culture and communities. From opening night red carpet to live performances at the new main stage, 29Rooms will go live to create inclusion, scale and audience interactivity. Diversifying the franchise for the first time last year with its West Coast debut, the landmark event sold 45,000 tickets for NY and LA, and generated more than one billion social interactions.
Beauty & The Beats – Refinery29 is launching Beauty and the Beats – an experiential touring dance party and virtual reality DJ battle hosted by influencers and artists. In a fully immersive venue, guests will find themselves on a 360° digital dance floor with a live virtually created soundtrack.
Channel29 – Refinery29 is set to launch Channel29 in Q4 2018, a live and on-demand progressive lifestyle destination. The brand will strengthen its audience relationship through radically inclusive content that subverts category norms of what lifestyle content is for women, and brings new perspective to trending news, fashion, beauty, shopping, and wellness conversations.
Refinery29’s Money Diaries – Equal parts voyeuristic and deeply relatable, Money Diaries is Refinery29’s top performing financial editorial series that draws deep engagement. The series offers an intimate peek into how women spend their money over a seven-day period and celebrates all of the ways women are gaining control of their finances. Extending its success, Refinery29 will publish a Money Diaries book with Touchstone and Simon & Schuster UK in September 2018 for global audiences in print, ebook, and audio editions, offering a personal finance guide filled with brand new diaries, expert advice, and practical challenges.
CBS NEWS Midterm Poll – Ahead of this year’s pivotal midterm elections, Refinery29 and CBS News will partner on an in-depth survey to capture the cultural and political zeitgeist of this generation — one of the most disruptive forces and determining factors in shaping our government this November. Through this research and content collaboration, the two will work to identify the underlying perspectives and preferences of this demographic of women and how who they are shapes how they vote.
Daydream by Google – Pairing groundbreaking technology with stylish and innovative video content, Refinery29 is partnering with Daydream by Google to produce immersive VR180 videos for the brand’s successful Youtube-first series, “Sweet Digs,” as well as additional fashion and lifestyle programming, including an immersive day-in-the-life look at New York Fashion Week.
Her Shorts- Featuring Crazy Ex-Girlfriend actress, producer, and mental health advocate Rachel Bloom, Refinery29 is proud to continue its partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. These new PSAs will tackle vital issues, spread positive messages, and educate viewers about sex, sexual health and consent.
Pilot Season (WT) – R29 and Kate Spade share the belief that women are the heroines of their own stories, so the two are joining forces to continue to foster the creation of new and unique female perspectives with ‘Pilot Season.’ The groundbreaking collaboration will commission 5 short films by 5 new directors, distributed via Instagram, and the audience will determine which pilot gets developed to series.
Conscious Marketing Study in partnership with Spark Neuro Key Findings:
Pairing biometric solutions like EEG, GSR, facial recognition, and eye tracking with mouse tracking and qualitative elements, including surveys and interviews, Refinery29 enlisted a diverse set of 90 women aged 18-54 to watch ‘conscious content’ aimed at furthering empathy, along with content that makes no attempt. The study showed:
● There is in fact neuro and biological proof that viewers are more engaged with content that is conscious, in both intensity and attention levels.
○ On a scale from 1-10, conscious content saw average levels of 6.6 vs 5.6 for peak attention, and 5.5 vs 4.8 for intensity
● Additionally, viewers’ perceptions of themselves became significantly more optimistic and confident after watching this content, while self-perception turned significantly more pessimistic and uncertain after watching the “no attempt” content.
○ Before watching content, respondents aligned with optimistic self-defining characteristics 86% of the time. After watching “attempt” content, optimism rose significantly to 92% while dropping significantly for content that makes no attempt (79%).
● Viewers were significantly more likely to want to further engage and interact with this content, and more likely to purchase the brand aligned with that messaging. Additionally, this distinction in future intention amongst women of color was even more pronounced, showing that cultural representation can directly lead to commercial engagement.
○ 86% of women exposed to conscious content would share the videos they were exposed to compared to 60% of ‘no attempt’ conditions.
○ 42% would search for similar content, compared to 26% of ‘no attempt’.
○ Amongst women of color, 89% would like a video compared to 48% of those exposed to ‘no attempt’;63% would share the video compared to 17%, and 41% would search for similar content compared to 17%.