Publishers have not tapped the mobile world in this way before, so it remains to be seen whether the approach will deliver many new subscribers or, perhaps more likely, is just another way for Conde Nast to help people buy its magazines however and wherever they want. If the very brief word from the publisher is any indication, this effort represents an early step in to the new realm; a spokeswoman there said the company is doing a test program, but declined to elaborate.
Cellfire showed a bit more energy. "We are excited about our partnership with Conde Nast," said Brent Dusing, CEO. "This will allow Cellfire users to get great deals on fantastic publications simply using their mobile phone."
Cellfire, which was started in January 2005 and went nationwide in June 2006, is a free application that can be downloaded to users' mobile devices like any game or ringtone. Each user received specific sets of discounts and offers tailored to their geographic location. Then users can click on the offer they want, showing retailers the coupon code that appears or, now, pushing a magazine subscription through using just their phone.
Conde Nast joins a roster of marketers already on Cellfire that includes Hollywood Video, 1-800-flowers.com, Carlson Leisure Travel Services and T.G.I. Friday's.