Mags Dizzy With Digital Deals

It's all about online now for magazines.

This week, Hearst, Conde Nast, Time Inc., the Bonnier Corp. and Hachette Filipacchi announced new partnerships with Internet media companies, reflecting the growing awareness that online partners can help magazines create new forms of digital content, reach a wider audience and scale up ad revenue. In an interesting twist, some of the online deals bring together content from rival print pubs.

On Wednesday, Hearst Magazines Digital Media said it struck separate deals with YouTube and AOL to syndicate lifestyle video content and reach a wider audience. In the YouTube deal, 15 Hearst magazines and online publications, including Harper's Bazaar, Seventeen, Esquire, and Good Housekeeping, are developing branded channels with video content that draw on their various areas of expertise. The channels will also launch interactive contests, inviting users to upload their own videos for online contests.

The creation of a new AOL Home hub covering decorating, entertaining, and "green" design brings together content from Hearst, Conde Nast (CondeNet) and Time Inc.'s online properties. The means AOL will have access to online content from Hearst titles like Redbook, Country Living, and House Beautiful.

On the CondeNet side, AOL can draw on Architectural Digest and Domino. The AOL hub will also have access to content from the Web sites for Time Inc.'s Real Simple and This Old House. Also on Wednesday, Bonnier Corp. announced a new partnership that will bring content from the Child Health Guide to Parenting.com, the combined Web portal for Parenting and Baby Talk magazines. The deal gives visitors to Parenting.com exclusive, free access to Child Health Guide's content, including its multimedia "Symptom Checker" tool. The site's content also includes video, audio and images illustrating 100 common childhood injuries and illnesses.

Bonnier's move is the latest in a series of partnerships or acquisitions of online health sites by magazine publishers looking to cash in on America's interest in health issues.

Last June, Meredith Corp. bought Healia.com, a consumer-health search engine, and integrated its search technology into its various magazine Web sites, like Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Ladies' Home Journal. In mid-September, Hearst bought RealAge.com, a site that engages consumers with the promise of a quiz that determines their "real age," based on various health and lifestyle factors.

Finally, earlier this week, Hachette Filipacchi said that Glam Media, an online network of Web sites and blogs targeting women, will become the exclusive ad seller for Premiere.com, the Web site of the now defunct print magazine. Per the same deal, Premiere.com is also making its entertainment industry news and reviews available to the Glam entertainment channel, alongside content from TV Guide and Sony BMG.

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