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Time Inc. doubles down on digital watermarks to mobilize print

Time Inc.?s MyRecipes has launched a new cookbook that leverages digital watermarking to let consumers access a mobile version of recipes while grocery shopping.

The new MyRecipes Easy Meal Maker book marks the second time that MyRecipes has placed digital watermarks to make a cookbook more interactive. The book contains recipes from six of Time Inc.?s titles under the lifestyle group.

?MyRecipes is always looking for ways to make it easier for the consumer to find the right recipe for them and their family,? said Jason Burnett, senior content director of the lifestyle digital group at Time Inc., New York.

?When we were thinking about taking mobile to a print product, this seemed like the perfect way to activate it and go straight from the cookbook to the store,? he said.

Mobile appetite
Each recipe in the more than 200-page cookbook includes a large photo of the food with a smartphone symbol in the corner of the image and is powered by Digimarc.

The mobile portion of the content can be accessed by downloading the Digimarc Discover iOS or Android application.

When consumers hover a mobile device with the app open over a page, a landing page pulls up the recipe on MyRecipes.com.

From there, consumers can view a full list of the ingredients and save the items to a shopping list by logging into their MyRecipes account.

Additionally, step-by-step directions and videos walk consumers through how to prepare a dish, and content can be shared via Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

There is also a full page in the table of contents section that explains how the technology works.

?Everyone online is seeing tremendous growth in their mobile audience, and we have seen the same thing,? Mr. Burnett said.

?Nearly 50 percent of our audience is on a mobile device and are using it for meal planning and shopping,? he said.

MyRecipes is promoting the book via the company?s Web site and through email.

Another call-to-action on a page

Bigger strategy
The cookbook pulls in recipes from Time Inc.?s Coastal Living, Cooking Light, Real Simple, Health, Southern Living and All You magazines.

Each one of the magazines is also using digital watermarks within the monthly print editions.

Cooking Light first used the mobile scanning technology in the January/February issue and reported an uptick in registrations to MyRecipes as a result.

Southern Living and Health have also used the same type of activation within magazines.

According to Time Inc., one of the reasons that the company leverages digital watermarks instead of other print-to-mobile tactics is that the technology keeps the aesthetic of the page?s design.

?If you?re going to do that with a QR code, it will look like an eyesore and take away from the design, and it?s also distracting to the reader,? said Matthew Szerencse, market development manager at Digimarc, Beaverton, OR.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York