Jun 13, 2023 - Economy

Exclusive: Penske Media launching women's health brand

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Penske Media Corporation plans to launch a new media brand Wednesday under its She Media portfolio that's focused on women's health.

Why it matters: To date, PMC has mostly focused on acquiring and building brands in the media and entertainment space. Health represents a significant step to diversify its portfolio.

  • The new outlet, called Flow, will open PMC up to pharmaceutical advertising dollars, a spokesperson said.

Details: Flow will focus its coverage on issues such as reproductive health, menopause, pelvic health, heart health, access and equity in health care, brain health, and condition-specific topics, such as cancer, migraines and autoimmune disease, according to a pitch deck reviewed by Axios.

  • The content, it claims, will include original reporting, first-person narratives and science-based explainers on women's health issues.
  • The editorial will be informed by a community of experts — doctors, nurses, women's health advocates, etc. — that will sit on Flow's advisory council. Members of the advisory council are not paid.
  • A few Penske employees, such as Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton, the Hollywood Reporter's editorial director Nekesa Mumbi Moody, and PMC's vice president of public affairs Brooke Jaffe, will also sit on the council.

The business will include a stand-alone digital website, a periodic digital magazine feature, as well as a live events platform.

  • The first issue of its digital magazine will launch Wednesday. It will include personal health testimonials from celebrities, fitness experts and women's health advocates.
  • Currently, there are eight She Media employees who are working on the Flow brand full time, per the spokesperson.
  • The initiative is being led by She Media CEO Samantha Skey.

Between the lines: As part of the launch, She Media has created a $10 million media match program, called the Flow Fund, that will match advertiser commitments targeted to health and wellness content across its portfolio.

  • In addition to Flow's main site, She Media operates the backend of 150+ smaller, independently owned websites focused on women's health that make up what it calls the "Flow Collective."
  • For brands willing to spend at least $100,000 on Flow's health and wellness content online, She Media will match their brand spend by up to 50%.
  • The company has already begun courting advertisers, a spokesperson said. Dove, a Unilever brand, has committed to spending with the Flow Fund.

Catch up quick: PMC acquired She Media in 2018 for a reported value of $40 million. The brand includes a portfolio of smaller women's lifestyle sites across topics such as parenting, fashion, beauty and entertainment.

The big picture: National publishers, such as the Washington Post, Fortune, and Time, are leaning into health and wellness content as a means to grow their audience and business.

  • Yes, but: While great for traffic, the amount of murky content and misinformation on the internet around the wellness industry has sometimes given advertisers pause.
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