Dotdash Meredith Pens Pinterest Partnership, Joining Condé Nast and Tastemade

The publisher will produce vertical video for the platform, which aims to increase its inventory

The lifestyle publisher Dotdash Meredith, which houses titles including Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living, has partnered with Pinterest to produce 180 original, seasonally aligned vertical videos.

Pinterest will fund the creation of the content, but it wouldn’t share financial specifics. 

The year-long deal follows on the heels of two similar tie-ups struck by Pinterest, which has courted publishers with robust video capabilities to help the platform build out its supply of video inventory, said Jeremy Jankowski, the North American publishing lead for Pinterest. 

Last June, the platform entered into a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal with lifestyle programmer Tastemade to produce 50 original series, and in January, it struck a deal with Condé Nast Entertainment to enlist Vogue and Architectural Digest to produce 160 videos. 

Year over year, the platform has increased its supply of video by 30%, according to the company.

“Publishers create best-in-class content, so in the past six months, we have shifted focus to bring more of them onto the platform,” Jankowski said. “Now we want to help them build audiences, which they can use to sell sponsored pins and drive traffic to their owned and operated sites.”

The partnership reflects the increasing value of vertical video throughout the digital media ecosystem. Platforms from Pinterest to Spotify have seized on the highly engaging format and woven it throughout their products, while publishers have retooled their editorial strategies to match consumer demand for it.

For publishers, monetization of the format has lagged behind its adoption, a pain point BuzzFeed Inc. chief executive Jonah Peretti echoed in an earnings call Monday. On-site monetization, which Pinterest has unlocked with its Idea Pins, offers publishers a means of turning their presence on the platform into revenue.

Such arrangements have their drawbacks—publishers have learned to treat businesses built on third-party platforms with healthy skepticism. But in this case, the interests of both parties align, said Troy Young, a media analyst and former president of Hearst Magazines.

“Vertical video is a problem for publishers because it is hard to distribute and monetize on their owned and operated channels, and the prominent channels—Instagram Reels and TikTok—are hard to monetize,” Young said. “So when a platform offers distribution and monetization, that is appealing.”

Distribution and on-site monetization

As part of the yearlong deal, the lifestyle brands Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart, Southern Living, Brides, Food & Wine, Serious Eats and Allrecipes will create videos—generally less than a minute in length—exclusively for Pinterest.

Dotdash Meredith already has a sizable presence on the platform, generating 90 million views per month across its 20 channels, according to Heather Menicucci, its svp of video. 

The publisher can monetize its presence on the platform using Idea Pins, a vertical video product that Pinterest released in May 2021. Creators, as well as publishers, can use the Handshake feature to create branded Idea Pins, providing the company with inventory it can sell to brands on a standalone basis or as part of a larger media buy.

The seven publishers will create content ahead of key moments in their editorial calendars, such as Halloween or St. Patrick’s Day, and can loop in relevant brands as partners, said Nadine Zylstra, the global head of programming and originals at Pinterest.

Compared to more passive social platforms, Pinterest users visit the platform with a high purchasing intent, treating it as a source of inspiration for decorating, cooking and other hobbies. 

The contextual alignment between the publisher and the seasonal moment, when combined with the engaging nature of vertical video, creates a powerful product that amplifies what Pinterest already does well, said Jessica Dooley, the U.S. social practice lead at Mindshare.

“One of the value propositions we see on Pinterest is how early things happen on the platform,” Dooley said. “People come to Pinterest early to plan for various events or occasions, which provides not only great insights but more ways to reach an engaged audience.”