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Female singers perform for Refinery29 at Newfronts 2017

At Newfronts, Female Empowerment Is On The Program

H.B. Duran|

Women make 85 percent of all purchasing decisions and this year’s collection of Digital Content Newfronts announcements were certainly full of girl power. While lifestyle and beauty programming are popular topics and the bread and butter of some of the top publishing brands, other trends emerged during Newfronts such as activism and empowering women of color.

Political and societal strife are at an emotional high, spurring debates across the world on gender equality, racial harmony and personal identity. As a result, solidarity, entrepreneurship and self-love were especially strong themes across all female-oriented presentations.

Aligned under the theme, “We Rise. We Shine,” Popsugar announced several new projects including Failing Forwarda documentary series in which female entrepreneurs share moments when things went wrong and how overcoming it helped them move on to greater heights. Honored, the first feature film out of Popsugar Films, will tell the emotional story of friendship and loss.

“Popsugar has always helped women celebrate themselves and others,” said Lisa Sugar, Popsugar’s cofounder and president in a statement. “In a world where we need to come together, our mission is more relevant than ever. We continue to be committed to igniting optimism while driving change and building communities; in fact, making women’s lives easier, more meaningful and beautiful is our motivation for storytelling.”

Refinery29 appealed to its active audience of millennial and Gen Z women and girls with the theme, “Our Party is Women.” The female-centric brand announced a slate of new programming in collaboration with Willow Smith, Zosia Mamet, Rashida Jones, Chloe x Halle, Evan Rachel Wood and her band Rebel and a Basketcase, and comedian/actor Sasheer Zamata.

Women of color were a prominent presence at this year’s Newfronts, empowering them with everything from life advice to social activism. Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence, announced a live video partnership with Twitter to broadcast Essence Now, the first live show on Twitter targeting black women. In addition, Cosmopolitan is launching a new 10-episode Snapchat series with actress Yara Shahidi (Blackish) called Keep Calm & Yara On. The company’s Snapchat channel boasts over 11 million subscribers.

Hulu is riding the success of its female-empowerment series, A Handmaid’s Tale and renewed the show for a second season. The video-streaming service acquired exclusive SVOD rights to The Golden Girls earlier this year, a series popular with not only women but the LGBT community—a demographic with nearly $1 trillion in purchasing power.

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