Time Inc. is close to acquiring Jane Pratt's xoJane and xoVain sites for an undisclosed sum as it looks to increase its content targeting millennial women, sources tell Adweek.
The New York publisher is interested in buying Pratt's two sites to build up its focus on digital-only brands, which already include homes-focused website The Snug and beauty-oriented Mimi. Most recently, Time Inc. launched The Drive, an automotive site for guys under 35. A Time Inc. spokesman said the company does not comment about speculative acquisitions.
With xoJane and xoVain, Time Inc. appears to be making a push for millennial women. According to comScore, xoJane had 2.5 million unique visitors in September, up from 1.1 million in September 2014. Sister site xoVain clocked in 958,000 viewers in September. per comScore. xoVain launched in March 2013, but did not meet comScore's minimum traffic numbers to be tracked year-over-year.
Pratt—the sites' founder and editor-in-chief—has been looking for a buyer for several months, since its previous owner, Say Media, sold off its editorial properties in February to focus on selling publishers advertising-technology software and online publishing platforms.
At that time, Say Media vp of brand development and global marketing Michelle Panzer told Adweek: "Owning online publications can certainly be profitable. … For us, it was too difficult to build both businesses. There are a lot of media companies that are learning this quickly. Media companies that are saying they are creating their own CMS are finding it is not as easy to do."
In May, the New York Post reported that both sites had found an undisclosed buyer, but those talks evidentially fell through.
The possible Time Inc. deal is the latest example of how traditional publishers are snatching up hip digital media companies to make up for slipping magazine sales while also bringing in new groups of readers who primarily get their news online.
Earlier this week, Condé Nast acquired music website and magazine Pitchfork Media for an undisclosed price, joining titles like The New Yorker and Wired.