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Bauer Publishing takes five magazine titles mobile to grow audience

Bauer Publishing has rolled out mobile Web sites for five of its media brands to meet the needs of readers who are increasingly relying on their mobile devices to access news and information.

In Touch Weekly, Life & Style, J-14, M and Twist Magazine are now mobile-optimized and are part of the Kargo Mobile Publisher Network. All of the publications? mobile-optimized Web sites are ad-supported.

?We need to expand wherever our readers are and our readers all have mobile devices,? said Sebastian Raatz, executive vice president of Bauer Publishing, New York. ?A significant portion of our Web traffic is coming from mobile and so it was logical to make it more convenient for readers to access information from their devices.?

Having entered the United States market in 1981, Bauer Publishing U.S. now consists of 13 magazines across several distinct consumer segments: entertainment, women's service, teen and science technology.

Mobile optimization
The sites are unique in that they render differently based on the type of device that consumers are using.

Social functionality is a major aspect of the new sites, letting registered readers comment on stories. This creates social communities within all of the sites.

?Readers can comment on every single article,? said Harry Kargman, founder/CEO of Kargo, New York. ?This builds a social community within the site and then they can comment across sites.

?We have built in the capability to send various different comments to Facebook and Twitter,? he said. ?The social functionality makes the sites unique in that there is more than just news, articles and video.?

Ad opportunity
Bauer's new mobile sites offer the opportunity for advertisers to target very specific mobile audiences. For example, Life & Style has female users interested in fashion and celebrity style. Kargo helps advertisers build really rich advertising experiences that are immersive for that audience.

All five of the mobile sites are ad-supported and Procter & Gamble is one of the launch advertisers. The company is running banners for its Olay and Pantene products.

With the growing number of mobile phone users worldwide, it is increasingly important for media brands to have a mobile presence.

Bauer now considers itself a diversified media brand with a presence on all platforms. Users are on the Web, in print and on mobile and to reach the most number of readers possible, Bauer is making itself available on all three.

?Mobile devices are much closer to magazines than computers,? Mr. Raatz said. ?The PC is a cumbersome experience and they are on the desk.

?The magazine is portable and phones are just like that,? he said. ?People like that better than the PC.?

The design for all five sites is tailored to each specific media brand so there is one unified experience.

?Users are creatures of habit so it is important to align the experience on mobile with that of other channels,? Mr. Kargman said.

Although the new sites are not built using HTML5, Bauer will be releasing an HTML5 version to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 5.

?Budgets are shifting into mobile,? Mr. Kargman said. ?2011 and 2012 has mobile advertising evolving to mainstream. Real dollars are pouring into mobile.

?It is now the expectation of brands to be able to buy cross-platform,? he said. ?If you are not in mobile, you will lose those ad dollars.

?It is now a critical component especially going into the future considering the audience is migrating into the mobile medium."