The “experimental” digital humour and entertainment publishing brand has been named “Us vs Th3m” and will sit separately to the Daily Mirror newspaper operation.
The project hopes to appeal to the younger audiences who visit US humorous content site Buzzfeed and is positioned as a mobile and tablet first brand.
Us vs Th3m launched today (28 May) without advertising, but it is likely to take on a sponsored content approach similar to Buzzfeed’s as opposed to traditional display spots. Any monetisation strategies are likely to inform how Trinity Mirror’s other digital businesses could sell advertising and subscriptions.
The site has been created and is being led by former Guardian and BBC head of user experience Martin Belam, editor of MSN International Tom Phillips and another humorous content site – B3ta’s – founder and editor Robert Manuel.
Malcolm Coles, Trinity Mirror product director, told TheMediaBriefing: “We are trying a different publishing model from the one we are familiar with. So it will be mobile first – we’re basically not worried about desktop – and it’s all about social sharing, not SEO.
“It’s about where we can be quick and agile without large IT projects. We’ve decided to consciously go out and do things differently from the way we normally would – it’s an experiment and we’ll see what happens.”
Trinity Mirror’s digital revenue grew by £3.2m to £40.8m in the year to 30 December. At the time, Trinity said its underlying performance in digital revenue had been “far from satisfactory” and its increased focus on this area would be a “high priority” for 2013 and beyond.
In the year to date (17 weeks to 28 April), however, Trinity’s digital revenues dropped 13 per cent.
Trinity’s decision to launch a Buzzfeed-style Tumblr blog comes the week after Yahoo! acquired the five-year-old platform for $1.1bn (£723m).
Separately today (28 May), Buzzfeed announced plans to invest in and expand its video operations and build a social video studio, designed to create news and entertainment video content exclusively for YouTube. Buzzfeed Video will have a dedicated prominent placement on the Buzzfeed homepage, designed to bring new forms of social content to its 60 million unique users.