How News DNA’s WHIMN became Australia’s biggest women’s network

After integrating its three brands, News DNA's women's network With Her in Mind (WHIMN) became the largest in the country. Mumbrella's Zoe Samios chats with executive editor Melissa Overman about the brand's first six months and its future.

Last week News Corp united its women’s lifestyle brands under the With Her in Mind (WHIMN) network, making it the largest women’s network in Australia according to Nielsen’s new digital content ratings results.

The integration, which sees parenting brand Kidspot and lifestyle brand My Body and Soul fall under WHIMN network alongside whimn.com.au, created an August unique audience of 1.954m between the three brands.

While she’s pleased with the results, WHIMN’s executive editor Melissa Overman tells Mumbrella the last six months have been about testing, with the next six to be focused on growing the network.

“It was always the plan from launch to roll Kidspot and My Body and Soul up within the women’s network, because it’s important in this cluttered market to have scale,” Overman says.

But while the latest Nielsen results indicate the size of the network, Overman says she defines WHIMN’s success by other factors, such as growth of branded content and depth of insight.

“Next year is really trying to understand the female digital consumer and what drives her to purchase products, or consume content, and then making sure that we are innovating for that,” Overman says.

Personalisation is also something she will be focused on going forward.

“You have to be really clear about what audiences you are speaking to because women are incredibly diverse and the way that you talk to a young woman living the the city who’s got no children, who is career focused, travels a lot and has an extendable income, is extremely different to how you speak to a woman who may be exactly the same age but maybe she happens to live in the suburbs, and has three children and she’s not working and she’s got a huge mortgage,” she says.

“You have to be really targeted in your approach. This network is kind of unique in a way because it has this scale but it also has this personal connection with its audiences.”

WHIMN isn’t the only women’s network in market, with Now To Love, Mamamia, 9Honey and Popsugar presenting strong competition.

9Honey’s July network numbers – which includes 9Coach, 9Elsewhere, 9Homes, 9Kitchen, 9Style and 9Mums, revealed a unique audience of 1.942m.

For Overman, WHIMN’s brands, content and mission are what differentiates the network.

“I can’t speak to what the other networks do, but from our point of view, what differentiates us is our brands. Kidspot and My Body and Soul are brands that have an incredible amount of trust with their audiences and we’ve just done some new research that qualifies that,” Overman says.

She says women want trusted sources, particularly on topics such as health and parenting.

“The way we approach content and our mission is really different,” she adds.

“For us, we are really about providing value back to our audiences. We are about great ideas and great storytelling and great communities and really ensuring that we are delivering authentic, honest and unique content.”

Looking to the next six months, Overman says WHIMN will release Doco180 – its film initiative with Screen Australia which features six short documentaries directed by women – in the next month or so.

“I’ve just seen the final cut of the six docos this week and they are fabulous,” she says.

“This is our first foray into what we really want to continue with this brand which is creating really unique, fresh, raw, honest content that tells women’s stories and I think these docos are going to do that.

“They are exactly what this current market is maybe lacking, digital social videos with purpose,” she admits.

“It also gives these emerging filmmakers a platform, which is also something we want to be known for, giving female talent a platform to share their expertise.

At the same time, News Corp has launched WHIMN Eclipse – a package offering for advertisers assisted by the launch of Nielsen’s digital content ratings, which allows for daily trading.

“What you can do is buy 100% share of voice across all three sites for a 24 hour period. That would be reaching 250,000+ women in one go, so it would be perfect for things such as a huge sale, a launch of a product or movie,” Overman explains.

“If you want to do that mass reach in one day, and now we have the digital content ratings it actually is a really good opportunity for us to be able to offer this product.”

When WHIMN announced its integration and number one positioning, Nicole Sheffield, chief digital officer said the brand had a “premium content offering.”

The word “premium” means adding value to readers, according to Overman.

“The one thing that this digital network has really got going for it is to be able to create environments where women feel comfortable. They feel part of the conversation, they want to be part of the conversation.”

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