Hearst to Provide Mobile Content for Select Magazines

Hearst Publications has begun distribution of mobile content to its readers in the current issues of Cosmopolitan, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen magazines. Each publication now has a portal-style presence that extends the brand to the mobile space.

The content will work across all wireless carriers.

Hearst will insert calls-to-action throughout the editorial pages of each magazine, pointing readers to associated mobile content. Readers will send a text message to a specified address and receive a URL to free and premium media.

Initially, readers can download ringtones and wallpapers. They can also receive daily horoscopes via text message for $1.99 per month. Hearst brokered a deal with The Mobile Media Company to provide the service. Both content and advertising programs can be developed for the platform.

Hearst will work with two additional mobile technology providers, Bango and Volantis, to handle content delivery and billing.

“What we do is add the magic ingredient which means when a reader accesses the network, we make sure they can get the site, create an identity for the user, and if the user wants to buy particular content, we post the payment to the user’s bill,” Bango VP of Alliances Anil Malhotra told ClickZ News.

The Hearst news follows an announcement earlier this week from Dennis Publishing’s Maxim magazine, which said it would enhance the mobile content it offers, using a similar format to Hearst’s.

Hearst has not said whether it will use the mobile capability to allow advertisers to provide readers with additional content, but each of its partners can support advertising and promotional deals. A spokesperson from the publisher could not be reached for comment.

The publisher announced the formation of its digital unit when it hired two executives earlier this month.

The three magazines target a combined group of women aged 12 to 34. Seventeen magazine has a monthly readership of 14.45 million, and CosmoGirl reaches about 1.25 million readers each month.

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