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Looking to build on the success of efforts like Cosmopolitan's Sex Position of the Day app , Hearst has launched what could be the world's first "app think tank" - or at least the first anchored in the world of traditional print publishing.

The "App Lab" is slated to open in New York's Hearst Tower next month to be a space for marketers, advertising reps and perhaps even technical and editorial types to collectively bang their heads against a wall and see what sticks.

Hearst corporate types say the lab is the next step in the media giant's inevitable march into digital media, which, if you count the digital versions of Hearst's 14 magazine titles, includes nearly two dozen products for smartphones, tablets and other devices.

“As we continue to roll out new apps and content to expand our brands across this constantly evolving digital landscape, it makes sense to create a Hearst initiative to inspire, share, learn, and most importantly develop,” said David Carey, president, Hearst Magazines. “The App Lab is a digital think tank to bring together innovators, both inside Hearst and across the media and technology industries, in order to create the smartest content, ad models and platforms that resonate with consumers today.”

Hearst claims to have sold at least 40,000 downloads of its iPad app for Popular Mechanics at $1.99. Up next for the iPad are Esquire, Marie Claire, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

The App Lab will host panel discussions, focus groups, educational and research presentations on mobile technology. No word on whether live demonstrations from Cosmo's Kama Sutra app are planned.

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