Women’s-lifestyle magazine invests in short-form video

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Marie Claire, the leading womens-lifestyle magazine from Future Publishing, has launched a  short-form true-crime video series. The series, called “On the Record with Marie Claire”, comprises seven episodes running between seven and 12 minutes each.

  • Much of the publishing sector’s efforts in video have been focused on social video; from the disastrous Facebook-inspired pivot to video back in 2016 to more successful recent forays into TikTok. But Future’s efforts place them with a group of publishers trying to be more ambitious in the video space.
  • Marie Claire’s short-form true-crime series has more in common with efforts to target premium video audiences seen last year. In July, for example, The Independent launched its own video streaming service, competing with the premium offerings being developed by one-time linear TV companies like CNN and NBC.
  • ‘On the record’ has been produced by Future’s video production arm, Future Studios, working with The Marie Claire editorial team. Different versions of the series have been made for the magazine’s digital channels, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.
Archives and reporting

The seven episodes in the series are told from the viewpoint of a central character directly linked to the case. Each video combines archive film and stills alongside Marie Claire’s storytelling and investigative reporting

  • The female-focused investigations include the stories of the Hollywood Con Queen who ran a scam targeting gig workers in the entertainment industry; a young woman from the Blackfeet Nation searching for her sister who vanished four years ago; and a North Korean defector who believes her friend was recaptured and forced back to the country.
  • Marie Claire has a track record of publishing investigative journalism that looks at stories that impact women from their perspective. Narrated by the magazine’s editorial team, ‘On the Record’ tells stories of women seeking justice. Marie Claire Executive Editor Danielle McNally said:

The beauty of this series is that it allows us to bring those incredible features in our archive to life and to continue telling the stories of these impressive women.

Video success

The audience appetite for video continues to grow. Data from Wyzowl’s 2022 State of Video Marketing survey suggests the amount of online video watched per week, per person, has almost doubled since 2018. In 2022, the average is expected to rise to 19 hours per person.

  • Looking more broadly at what successful video looks like for publishers, Marie Claire’s ‘On the record’ video series is a great example of a publisher doing something meaningful with the format rather than simply trying to leverage viral clips from social platforms.
  • Even where publishers are focusing on much shorter clips produced specifically for social distribution, the secret to success is to deliver unique value aligned to your audience. Reposting viral content from the platforms might bring traffic, but will never secure audience loyalty.
  • From true-crime investigations produced to ‘amplify the voices of a diverse group of women, and confront contemporary issues’ to light-hearted new reports on TikTok designed to engage younger audiences, original, authentic content is crucial.

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