Hearst Forgoes Free, Debuts New SVOD Fitness Channel CosmoBody

/ Jul 15, 2014


Publishers like Conde Nast and Time Inc. have invested time and money in recent years to launch video channels on the web. Hearst believes it can do the same — and get customers to pay for them on a monthly basis.

The media company has unveiled CosmoBody, a new fitness and lifestyle channel developed by its Hearst Digital Studios unit in partnership with the Cosmopolitan editorial team. The channel is available across online and mobile (iOS and Android) platforms for $9.95 per month, with a 10-day free trial for new customers to sample content.

Content on the channel spans workout and lifestyle videos produced by Mark Burnett’s VIMBY Studios, and daily original editorial content from Cosmopolitan. If you were looking for videos with titles like “Get in the Mood with Yoga,” or videos that offer dating, food, and fashion tips, this is the channel that Hearst hopes you go to.

According to Hearst’s pitch, the videos are “highly stylized and seductive,” shot on locations ranging from New York rooftops to the beaches of Santa Monica, and offering a glimpse into the lives of the hosts while also providing food, fitness, and life advice.

CosmoBody’s roster of fitness and health experts include dance-cardio trainer Jennifer Johnson, martial arts expert Ary Nunez, strength trainer Don Saladino, yoga specialist Tara Stiles, dance instructor Katia Pryce, and basic fitness instructor Rique Uresti, as well as food blogger Camille Becerra. Videos are arranged by workout type as well as expert.

“Basically, it’s Netflix for fitness and lifestyle content,” said Neeraj Khemlani, head of Hearst Digital Studios and co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.

And it’s just the beginning, Hearst hopes. The publisher, through Hearst Digital Studios, hopes to roll out more web-based SVOD channels. Some could be tied to more Hearst publishing brands, while others could come via collaborations with “outside partners,” said Khemlani.

In addition being available online and on most mobile devices, CosmoBody can also be streamed on TV via iOS and Apple TV’s Airplay capabilities. This is the first in a series of screen integrations going live in the coming months, according to Hearst.

While new to the SVOD game, CosmoBody isn’t the first online video channel from Hearst. The publisher partnered with AwesomenessTV to launch an MCN based on the Seventeen magazine brand in February.

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