Press Release: Time Inc. Acquires Automotive YouTube Channels /DRIVE and Fast Lane Daily
NEW YORK—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) today announced the acquisition of YouTube channels /DRIVE (www.youtube.com/drive) and Fast Lane Daily (www.youtube.com/FastLaneDaily), along with their associated websites and content libraries. Both /DRIVE and Fast Lane Daily (FLD) are digital pioneers renowned for their adventurous, personality-driven automotive coverage. To date, they have amassed hundreds of millions of video views, with a combined 1.9 million YouTube subscribers, and have produced a traditional broadcast series for NBC Sports Network.
/DRIVE and FLD will be operated by The Foundry, Time Inc.’s content and creative collective that cultivates new brands and next-generation marketing programs. Together with TheDrive.com, these brands will form a powerhouse video-rich production network of short- and long-form premium storytelling around car culture and lifestyle. Original content from all three brands will cross-pollinate to serve the vast and diverse audience of passionate auto enthusiasts. The teams will also collaborate on new programming for distribution across the network, as well as through linear, OTT, SVOD, mobile, digital and emerging platforms.
"Video is the most visceral tool for bringing cars to life, and the /DRIVE team is world class," said Matt Bean, Editorial Director of the newly merged brands and SVP, Editorial Innovation at Time Inc. "This represents a tremendous addition to our portfolio and is further evidence of our commitment to delivering high-quality, premium content to our fans and for our advertisers."
Having debuted in 2012, /DRIVE’s diverse catalog of automotive video programming speaks with the authentic voice of the car enthusiast. The channel now boasts 1.6 million+ YouTube subscribers and a library of more than 1,200 videos captured in 14 different countries, all available on demand. /DRIVE expanded to cable television in 2014 and has since produced two seasons of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, including episodes chronicling epic road trips across the Middle East, Europe and Japan, revealing the diversity of those regions’ car cultures. /DRIVE founder JF Musial; Michael Spinelli, formerly of Jalopnik.com; Gumball 3000 veteran Alex Roy of Team Polizei 144; and Matt Farah ofTheSmokingTire.com were part of the initial launch team and will remain key contributors to the programming slate.
The first episode of Fast Lane Daily aired in 2007, and the channel continues to deliver automotive newscasts, hosted by Derek DeAngelis, Monday through Friday. A Webby Award honoree, FLD's YouTube channel has more than 300,000 subscribers, and through January 2016, FLD produced more than 2,000 reports that generated more than 200 million YouTube views.
In September 2015, The Foundry launched TheDrive.com, which is devoted to coverage of the automotive industry and lifestyle. A team of world famous journalists has been delivering daily coverage that has already attracted a significant audience and advertising base. Later this quarter, the brand will debut a new showroom content studio located on the first floor of Time Inc.'s Brooklyn headquarters.
"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, VP Business Operations, who will add business oversight of the two acquired brands to his responsibilities.
"We were the new kids playing with video, but to fulfill the original vision for /DRIVE we needed a partner like Time Inc. with experience and a sense of adventure," said /DRIVE founder JF Musial. "I'm happy we're able to continue telling authentic stories about cars and car culture while expanding our reach in new and exciting directions."
Since becoming an independent public company, Time Inc. has been leveraging its brands, content and audiences to form new revenue streams. The company acquired HelloGiggles, a mobile and social-first millennial women's brand covering pop culture, relationships, beauty, fashion and lifestyle. It purchased inVNT, a company that specializes in live media, and it created Sports Illustrated Play, which is devoted to youth and amateur sports. Time Inc. also acquired UK Cycling Events, a leading UK provider of premium cycling events, and FanSided, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle network of more than 300 websites with a collective monthly audience of approximately 15 million unique visitors.
About Time Inc.
Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 150 million visitors each month, including over 60 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple and Southern Living, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom.
Scott Novak, 212-522-2687