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OK Magazine launches location-based mobile app

ok location 185

OK! Magazine's application uses location-based technology to let users know which celebrities are nearby.

OK Magazine is extending its brand in the mobile space with its new location-based Celebspotter application.

Created through a partnership with developer Jeanie Media, OK Celebspotter targets British consumers who are interested in learning more about the lives and lifestyles of their favorite celebrities. It uses location-based technology to provide relevant celebrity-geared content to mobile users.

“With so many ‘cookie-cutting’ apps available for publishers to use for getting their Web/print-lead content out in front of mobile audiences, we felt we had to do something more creative,” said Alexander Fairfax, managing director at Jeanie Media, London. “OK Celebspotter is an app that imbues all the glam and glitz of OK Magazine, and combines that with one of the most powerful creative features that a mobile phone can offer - location.

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“The app brings our mantra – stars having fun – into the everyday lives of our OK Celebspotter users, encouraging them to share in the celebrity lifestyle as far as they can for themselves,” he said. “For this reason, the app combines its thousands of past celebrity sightings with, literally, millions of quality venue and event reviews, as provided by a number of the U.K.'s favorite sources.”

OK Magazine claims to be the world’s most widely read celebrity lifestyle magazine brand, with 30 million readers in 19 countries, including Britain and the United States.

OK launched its first mobile application in 2009, a reader that converted OK’s print and PC Web content for a mobile audience.

“For that app we used our own channels to stimulate awareness,” Mr. Fairfax said. “Now the app represents a sizeable mobile audience that is fast ripening for third-party engagement.”

Laying the groundwork for third-party sponsorship
The OK Celebspotter application is optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch and available for download in the Apple App Store, with a price tag of $2.99.

At present, the application does not have ad support or in-application purchasing.

However, its developers are looking for ways to integrate sponsors into the application in the future.

“At stage one, our focus is to grow the user-base and learn about our users' preferences so that in due course we will be able to collaborate with the right sponsors, adding more to the app,” Mr. Fairfax said. “Given the nature of our brand and the location-based app, we will be looking to harness its rich display inventory and capacity for calls to action - whether on a map, with vouchers or links."

The application is targeted at OK readers, and looks to leverage brand loyalty to extend consumer engagement into the mobile space.

“OK Celebspotter has been designed with our readers first and foremost in mind,” Mr. Fairfax said. “It's natural therefore that we will be making use of our pre-existing channels to market the app to users.

“We are also looking at how we can best make use of our affiliate programs to extend that reach, but really it's down to the consumer and strength of the app as to how far this spreads,” he said.

How the app works
When users load up the application, they have access to a number of location-based features.

Using handsets’ location-based technology, users can load interactive maps that let them know where celebrities have been spotted nearby.

Here is a screen grab of the location-based map feature:

They can also browse for their favorite celebrities using the applications search function.

Here is a screen grab of the “Search by Celeb” feature:

After clicking on a celebrity’s name, the user can access more information about the personality, including pictures and biographical information.

Pages also exist for stores, restaurants and other locations where celebrities typically congregate.

Here is a screen grab of one location's Celebspot page:

Users can search for celebrity hotspots from a location directory.

Here is a screen grab of the location search page:

In addition to the Celebspot application, OK has other ideas for expansion into the mobile space, as well.

“Our plans for OK in this sphere include the launch of OK for the iPad, and heavy emphasis on developing the users of both apps into a tangible following,” Mr. Fairfax said. “Over the course of the coming 18 months, we want to see mobile playing an integrated and genuine role in our media activities based on its own, very special channel characteristics.”

Editorial Assistant Peter Finocchiaro covers video, music, search and ad networks. Reach him at peter@napean.com.

 
Related content: Content, OK Magazine, Jeanie Media, Alexander Fairfax, applications, iPhone, iPod touch, Apple App Store, mobile marketing, mobile

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