Just in time for the holidays, Hearst Magazines’ Popular Mechanics and Esquire have released a digital publication on Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) that is meant to inspire the sale of last-minute gadgets on the e-tailer’s site. The Digital Handbook is available as a free, 24-page PDF on the Zinio Reader, which is what Hearst uses for all its digital magazine replicas. To keep it free, Amazon, along with the BBC, Intel (NSDQ: INTC) and PBS, all have advertising pages within the e-pub.
On top of the straightforward ads, Hearst also produced four advertorial pages in the e-mag on behalf of Amazon and Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card, spotlighting car-related products, 3D entertainment, home entertainment and digital cameras. Each of these pages includes live links enabling consumers to read additional content on Amazon.com. Links are embedded on ad pages only.
Although it was conceived primarily for online, a hard copy version is also being included with this month’s print editions of Popular Mechanics and Esquire. With ad spending on magazines has comeback, most forecasters are still calling for anemic growth next year. Hearst hopes that with these kinds of digital/print, editorial/advertorial products, it can help bring in some incremental revenues as it continues to experiment with different models. It also shows Hearst flexing its integrated marketing muscles a bit more, something that all major publishers, including Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) and Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX), have been looking to as well.