Joining the growing mix of OTT options, Time Inc. has set a Wednesday (Sept. 13) launch for a new ad-supported, free streaming service called the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, or PEN, that will feature celebrity, pop culture, human interest and lifestyle focused series and live events.
PEN plans to offer more than 300 hours of programming in its first year, including 14 originals shows and specials during its first month.
And PEN has already secured distribution with partners including Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Comcast’s Xfinity, Xumo and PlutoTV, and will also be offered on the Web (People.com/PEN), and on Roku players, and iOS and Android mobile devices. Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1 contact lenses, L’Oreal USA and MillerCoors are among the service’s early advertisers.
Programming to be featured in PEN’s launch week includes documentary The Children of 9/11: 15 Years Later, about children born to five families after their fathers were killed in the terror attacks; The Jess Cagle Interview (Hollywood stars and other “creative minds” talk about their childhoods and inspirations); People Cover Story (weekly mini-documentary about the People’s latest cover story); People Features;EW Reunites: The Cast of Friday Night Lights (first in a series of specials, this one will cover the center on the 10th anniversary of the show); Entertainment Weekly: The Show (Hosted by Ricky Camilleri); Red Carpet Live Special (pre-show Emmy coverage on Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. ET).
PEN will also plans to premiere other shows in September, including Hollywood At Home, People Mom Talk, Reality Check and BingeWorthy.
“PEN is designed to be a network for the future with its premium long-form video delivered directly to consumers through multiple platforms and channels,” Rich Battista, president, Time Inc. Brands and a former cable-TV network executive, said in a statement. “We have a strong foundation of outstanding original programming and partnerships with leading multiplatform distributors and blue chip advertising partners from day one. We are excited to lead Time Inc. and the industry into the free, ad supported OTT space.”
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