Refinery29 Launches Online Influencer Network

Danielle Bernstein - H 2015
AP Images

Danielle Bernstein - H 2015

Called Here and Now, this talent collective will create formal relationships between Refinery29 and YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest stars.

Online publisher Refinery29 is rolling up a select group of online influencers into a new content and distribution network. 

Called Here and Now, this talent collective will work with a handful of YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest stars who have developed large audiences in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle categories.

"Through Here and Now, Refinery29 is expanding its relationships with a select group of content creators whose mission aligns with our core belief of telling meaningful stories with a sense of purpose and an empowered point of view," said Refinery29 co-CEO Justin Stefano.

To start, Here and Now, which will be lead by general manager Nathan Coyle, has inked deals with several creators, including beauty and fashion vloggers Lauren Curtis and Casey Holmes, fashion blogger and Instagram maven Danielle Bernstein and interior designer and Pinterest influencer Justina Blakeney. These creators will produce video and editorial that will live on the Refinery29 website in addition to their personal channels, creating new content and distribution opportunities for the lifestyle brand. 

Refinery29 will also offer advertisers opportunities to work with these creators on targeted campaigns tailored to their large social media followings. Smashbox has signed on as one of R29's first brand partners, and the resulting campaign will feature video and social content from Here and Now talent that is distributed across social platforms and Refinery29

Here and Now is similar to YouTube multi-channel networks such as Maker Studios and Fullscreen, though it will operate on a smaller scale. As those companies have grown — both have creator networks in the tens of thousands that span platforms including YouTube, Snapchat and Vine — it's become common to see smaller networks pop up. Vox Media, for example, works with a handful of creators including product reviewer Marques Brownlee on videos that are cross-promoted on its websites and the creators' YouTube channels.

"The Refinery29 audience spends so much time on the platforms where Here and Now's talent have established followings, craving the real-time and relatable content they are producing daily," said Coyle, who has overseen business development at R29 for the last two years. "This new collective will create more opportunities to provide content that speaks to every aspect of our audience's life, while vastly extending our reach across multiple platforms straight out of the mobile social core."