×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hearst’s Cosmo Bows Sexed-Up Fitness Video-Subscription Service, Priced Higher Than Netflix

CosmoBody, first of publisher's planned Internet channels, offered for $9.95 per month

Are seductive abs really worth more than Netflix? Hearst is betting that young females will pay a premium to access a collection of Cosmopolitan-branded workout and lifestyle videos with titles like “Sexier by Saturday,” “Revenge Body” and “Score a Celeb Body.”

The media and publishing company launched CosmoBody, the first of several envisioned Internet subscription video-on-demand channels, keying off the women’s magazine known for its enumerated sex tips. The service — which carries the tagline “Get Hotter. Faster” — is priced at $9.95 per month (one buck more than Netflix’s $8.99 monthly price for new members).

Hearst’s SVOD strategy is a departure from the Internet-video approaches of other traditional publishing companies, like Condé Nast and Time Inc., which have launched free, ad-supported video properties.

At the same time, Hearst has other ad-supported video properties. “Hearst is a company that likes to take a lot different bets,” said Hearst Digital Studios chief Neeraj Khemlani, who also is co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. “This is just another bet and another business model — we have no idea what will work. It’s another iron the fire.”

CosmoBody includes workout and lifestyle videos produced by Mark Burnett’s VIMBY studio, as well as daily editorial content in the familiar Cosmo vein (e.g. dating advice, fashion tips and cocktail recipes).

“We want to empower our Cosmo audience to feel sexy and strong, without sacrificing any of the fun,” Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan, said in announcing the SVOD service.

But it’s not clear how many of the mag’s fans will actually sign up for CosmoBody, which is more than double the print edition’s $3.99 cover price.

Khemlani said CosmoBody will appeal to women who have previously bought fitness DVDs. “We have a strategic advantage because (Cosmopolitan is) a brand that is recognized by young women globally,” he said. “It’s market of people globally who want to pay for premium fitness content, and, oh by the way not watch the same workout in their basement for six months.”

CosmoBody’s “highly stylized and seductive videos” features eight celebrity trainers: dance cardio trainer Jennifer Johnson, boot-camp specialists Astrid Swan McGuire and Adam Rosante; martial arts expert Ary Nunez; strength trainer Don Saladino; yoga specialist Tara Stiles; dance instructor Katia Pryce; and basic fitness instructor Rique Uresti. Other featured contributors include food blogger Camille Becerra.

The service is available on the web and via iOS and Android devices. Hearst pointed out that iOS users can stream workouts from their phones and tablets to Apple TV set-tops, and the company promises to connect to additional devices in the coming months.

For the company, CosmoBody is the template — and guinea pig — that will establish how Hearst Magazines and Hearst Digital Studios expect to work together on future SVOD launches. Hearst Digital Studios also hopes to strike deals with external brands to “develop over-the-top SVOD channels for tomorrow.”

In addition to Khemlani, Hearst Digital Studios other top execs include executive creative director David Vogler and SVP and g.m. of platform Chris Grosso, former head of AOL’s homepage. Liz Plosser, senior editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, is CosmoBody’s editorial director.

Separately, Hearst’s Seventeen magazine has teamed with DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV to relaunch the teen mag’s YouTube channel.

Watch a promo video for CosmoBody:

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Verizon Stream TV

    Stream TV Review: Verizon’s New Streaming Device Is One Odd Duck

    Verizon has an answer to Roku, but it’s not talking much about it: The mobile carrier quietly released a new streaming device this week that promises to bring services like HBO, Hulu and YouTube to your TV. Dubbed Stream TV, the device is a solid streamer based on Google’s Android TV platform, albeit with a [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hiking Price of Live TV Service 22%, to $55 per Month

    Hulu is implementing its second price increase in less than a year for its Hulu With Live TV product — with the base package of 60-plus live channels increasing 22%, to $54.99 per month. The price hike on the monthly base price of Hulu With Live TV will go into effect Dec. 18 for all [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV

    Hulu Live TV Tops Sling TV as No. 1 Streaming Pay-TV Service, Analysts Estimate

    Hulu With Live TV has edged out Dish Network’s Sling TV to take the crown as the biggest virtual pay-television service in the U.S., according to new analyst estimates. They were among the only winners amid the cord-cutting carnage that slashed through the sector in the third quarter. As of the end of the third [...]

  • Mubi India

    Mubi Launches Two VoD Channels in India

    Film specialist streaming platform Mubi launched on Friday in India with two channels, Mubi India and Mubi World. The channels are available together for an introductory offer of INR 199 ($2.75) for three months. Thereafter the channels will cost INR 499 ($7) a month or INR 4788 ($66.75) annually. For Mubi India, a channel dedicated [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content