Hearst rolls out new mobile sites

NEW YORK: Hearst Magazines Digital Media, the online branch of the publisher's magazine empire, is launching two new mobile sites in a bid to continue its migrations of content and brands into the mobile space.

NEW YORK: Hearst Magazines Digital Media, the online branch of the publisher's magazine empire, is launching two new mobile sites in a bid to continue its migrations of content and brands into the mobile space.

Hearst’s launches are for two of its premier female-targeted titles, Marie Claire (m.marieclaire.com) and Harper’s Bazaar (m.bazaar.com).

Assisting the company in the launch is New York-based Larkin/ Volpatt Communications, which was recently signed as Hearst Digital Media’s AOR, according to agency partner Michael Volpatt.

“We are working with them directly on all of their future launches that deal with Hearst Digital Media,” he said.
The two new sites mark the eighth and ninth such sites Hearst has created. Mobile sites for titles like Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Seventeen are already active.

“We realized that the individuals who enjoy our brands are also using their mobile phones more and more,” said Hearst mobile director Sophia Stuart in an e-mail response. “We see the phone as an extension of the print and online magazines.”

All of Hearst’s mobile sites are linked to the main Web pages of the magazines, and some titles are running ads for the site or even mentioning them in the editor’s letter, according to Stuart.

While the content on the new sites is rudimentary compared to that on the full Web site, the company hopes to turn them into new revenue streams in short order.

“From a revenue standpoint we are selling wallpapers that can be used on a mobile handset,” said Stuart. “For example, we have vintage covers from Harper’s Bazaar that individuals can download to their phone.”

For many media companies, mobile sites are the least proven aspect of the much talked-about “three screen” strategy of reaching consumers through TV, computers, and phones. The effectiveness of mobile content as a revenue producer has yet to be proven.

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