Hearst's Cosmopolitan website relaunches, catering to customer base that reads primarily on mobile devices, boosting personalization of content, and aiming to make advertisers an integrated part of the experience
July 9, 2014
– New Framework Supports Better Digital Storytelling and Content Marketing and Will be the Model for all Hearst Magazines Digital Properties Globally
Hearst Magazines Digital Media today unveiled a new publishing platform with the introduction of a redesigned Cosmopolitan.com. The launch includes reinvented publishing tools, an innovative content personalization engine and a streamlined front-end design. The system helps editors produce and post stories quickly, allows advertisers to become an integrated part of the experience and delivers a fast, intuitive, tailored content feed to its audience.
“We’ve moved quickly to activate our ‘months to moments’ strategy, developing an infrastructure that enables us to publish and build scale at a rapid pace,” said Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media. “The changes and upgrades we’re implementing on Cosmopolitan.com, our biggest brand in the U.S. at nearly 30 million UVs, are the first step toward a common publishing platform that can respond to data in real time, and one that we can apply across all of our properties globally.”
"This is Cosmo in the palm of your hand," said Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. "To be relevant, brands need to be where the audience is and Cosmo readers live much of their life with their phone strapped to their hand. We are there with them as they wake up, as they go through their day and as they recharge at night. And when they need to unplug, they reach for the magazine."
Core to the new system is a smart stream, a constant feed of content that improves upon the standard reverse chronological approach by combining editorial curation with recommendations based on live audience analytics. Designed as a clean, elegant feed on mobile, it is the powerful backbone for a content marketing offering that allows Hearst Magazines Digital Media to create experiences for advertising partners that are seamlessly integrated with editorial content.
The publishing tool powering this new experience is designed by editors, for editors. Based on technology developed by Hearst Magazines UK’s entertainment site Digital Spy, and designed over the past year in partnership with agency Code and Theory, the new system allows HMDM to create and publish engaging content in seconds.
"Millions of millennial women come to us for news, entertainment, and inspiration; now we’re able to deliver even more quality content, with increased volume and speed, plus it’s easier than ever for our readers to share and talk about the stories they care about most, ” said Amy Odell, editor of Cosmopolitan.com.
“Editorial instinct and real-time audience feedback runs through everything we do,” said James Welsh, Hearst Magazines Digital Media vice president of platform strategy. "The formula is 'publish, listen, iterate’ and we’ve equipped our teams to create content and configure their sites, live, with simple yet powerful point-and-click tools.”
The new platform was also designed to maximize audience engagement. Hearst Magazines Digital Media Vice President of Product Development Mike Dushane says, “We’re distilling the user experience to its essence — great content — eliminating distractions and implementing contextual native advertising, optimizing for the long-term value of relationships with users.”
Traffic to Cosmopolitan.com has increased to nearly 30 million unique visitors, an increase of nearly 200 percent year-over-year. In the ten months since Amy Odell joined as site editor, unique visitors have more than doubled, monthly content production has risen 75 percent, average visits per piece published have risen by 250 percent, and on-site shares have quadrupled. Hearst Magazines Digital Media websites collectively brought in over 100 million unique visitors (Adobe Analytics, May 2014).