Broadcaster and media juggernaut Hearst Corp is investing in its mobile and online distribution strategies with the formation of a new Silicon Valley digital product development group.
"The Hearst Digital Product Development Group is well-positioned to create immersive digital media experiences for a variety of audiences across mobile platforms,” said Steven Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst. “Our overall goal is to capture the attention of users with a new wave of engaging mobile apps and services.”
The technology group will work across Hearst businesses to extend the digital reach of Hearst's brands and will develop solutions that enrich the user experience as audiences increasingly migrate to mobile devices. Hearst said it hoped to leverage its more than 200 million unique monthly visitors to its online media brands worldwide, and mobility will be a renewed focus. The company has been a longtime supporter of mobile TV, but this appears to be aimed at a more app-specific strategy.
"Hearst has a mission to advance our technical capabilities with a particular focus on the development of highly engaging multi-screen experiences," said Philip Wiser, CTO at Hearst. "We have many of the world's top brands and large-scale audiences that want to connect with them throughout the day, on many screens. We have made solid progress in the past several years growing our digital product portfolio and now intend to supercharge our mobile efforts."
Rick Marini, formerly CEO of BranchOut, and the product, UX and engineering teams from BranchOut will be forming the core of the new group.
"We are incredibly excited by the Hearst team's vision for the future of digital media and how our team will be a key part of that,” Marini said. “Hearst is a world-class media organisation with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The opportunity to develop high-impact digital products for millions of consumers is why we decided to join Hearst."