Terms of the deals weren’t disclosed. The media company will merge content from /Drive (pronounced “slash drive”) and FLD with TheDrive.com, the automotive industry and lifestyle site Time Inc.’s the Foundry division launched in September 2015. The teams from the three brands also will collaborate on new programming for distribution across the network, as well as through linear TV, over-the-top, mobile and emerging digital platforms.
“We’re already seeing a tremendous response to TheDrive.com, and with the added perspective from /Drive and FLD, we’re going to create a dynamic network for auto enthusiasts everywhere,” said Edouard Portelette, Time Inc.’s VP of business operations.
In a related digital move, Time Inc. last week acquired data-marketing firm Viant, owner of Myspace. Time Inc. said it expects Viant to contribute $100 million in digital-ad sales this year.
Portelette will add business oversight of /Drive and FLD to his responsibilities. Matt Bean, SVP of editorial innovation at Time Inc., is the editorial director of the newly merged auto brands.
Since joining YouTube in 2005, /Drive has garnered 1.6 million YouTube subscribers and posted more than 1,200 videos. The channel has produced two seasons of a show for NBC Sports, including episodes chronicling epic road trips across the Middle East, Europe and Japan. Founder JF Musial will remain with /Drive, along with contributors Michael Spinelli, Gumball 3000 veteran Alex Roy of Team Polizei 144; and Matt Farah of TheSmokingTire.com.
Fast Lane Daily, which first launched in 2007, delivers automotive newscasts hosted by Derek DeAngelis Monday through Friday. The YouTube channel has more than 300,000 subscribers.
Time Inc., with its print-related revenue facing a steady decline, has been actively acquiring digital businesses in the past year.
Last fall, it acquired Zooey Deschanel’s HelloGiggles lifestyle website aimed at millennial women and Jane Pratt’s XoJane and XoVain sites. Other Time Inc. acquisitions include inVNT, a company that specializes in live media, and FanSided, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle network of more than 300 websites.