Cosmopolitan is ramping up its fitness presence, though you’ll have to pay to partake: Today, CosmoBody debuted, featuring streaming on-demand workout vids and lifestyle content updated daily, for the cost of $9.95 a month. The videos were produced by Mark Burnett’s VIMBY studios, and will feature talent like yoga pro Tara Stiles, boot camp pros, Astrid Swan McGuire and Adam Rosante, and fitness whiz Rique Uresti. For ambivalent exercisers, gratis 10-day trials are currently available.
“There’s an inextricable link between looking good and feeling good, and CosmoBody inspires women to create that connection whenever they need it, wherever they are,” said Cosmo EIC Joanna Coles in a statement.
How did the CosmoBody concept come about? “Steve Swartz, our president & CEO, agreed to let us build a video channel around Cosmo…One of the most popular sections in Cosmo is fitness and Joanna Coles saw the channel as another way to empower young women,” Neeraj Khemlani, head of Hearst Digital Studios and co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, told The Daily. Could a CosmoBeauty or CosmoFashion be up next? According to Khemlani, “We are developing a range of new channels. We are looking at our own brands as well as having conversations with outside partners. Given our video platform, video production capabilities, as well as our ability to sell subscriptions, we are an ideal partner for an outside brand to launch an over the top video channel.”
In terms of Cosmo‘s print staff, senior editor Liz Plosser has been very involved with CosmoBody. Plosser filled us in on the new venture…
How have you been involved with the project?
Neeraj and Joanna brought me on because of my expertise in the health and fitness worlds. I’m a certified personal trainer. And I’m always out and about working out with the best trainers in the country and trying all of the latest classes and trends…then I use those reporting and road-testing experiences every day to create the content in the Hot & Healthy pages of Cosmo. Nothing makes me happier than getting people excited about fitness—we believe that when it’s fun, social, and sexy, readers are more likely to take the advice. The goal is to make workout videos feel fun, cool, inspiring, and personalized.
How will Cosmo in print translate to a video channel format?
With CosmoBody, we wanted to translate our fitness and lifestyle content into a digital experience. I helped choose the trainers and other experts you’ll see in the channel and develop and vet the workouts and challenges. Also, I work with the CosmoBody editors and programmers on writing and packaging content, and I’m the bridge between CB and the editors of Cosmo so their ideas can come to life in our new channel.
Why do you think readers/women come to the Cosmo brand for fitness content?
One of the most rewarding and exciting parts of my job has been seeing how much the fitness content resonates with our readership. Workouts and fitness pages consistently score high with readers—and they say they want even more! At Cosmo, we try to make fitness fun, sexy, and social. Our health coverage is all about telling you what you can do, what you’ll enjoy doing, not what you can’t do or what you should feel guilty about. We think a lot about the fashion in a workout, and the goal of a workout, how long a workout will take, and what the mental/physical/emotional payoff will be. We know readers also love fitness-related topics, such as mental health, food and drink, and sexual health. Giving solid service and reporting on trends in these areas helps our readers take action to look and feel their best—and when you feel good, good things happen in life. CosmoBody brings all of that to life in a new medium.
Has Cosmo been ramping up fitness content, aside from CosmoBody’s launch?
We’ve expanded our fitness coverage over the past year. In the June 2014 issue, we began shooting workouts in environmental spaces instead of on a white background, which is a change I’m really proud of. In the August 2014 issue, we ran a four-page “Get a Vacay Bod” feature—a print-version of the goal- and deadline-orientated challenges you’ll find in CosmoBody—that we shot on location in Malibu, and in January 2014 we ran a 10-page fitness-inspired motivational package. We also have some fitness/fashion and fitness/beauty collaborative features in the works. In addition, news pages, features, and featurettes hit the fitness note throughout the year.