MAGAZINE COMPANIES CATCH THE INTERACTIVE WAVE

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It's not a question of when the magazine industry will plug into the world of interactive media; it's where will it end? Ad Age associate editor Debra Aho and intern Kim Cleland found out what some of the leading publishing companies are doing on the superhighway.

Time Warner

Contact:

Curt Viebranz, president, Time Inc. Multimedia

Interactivities:

Full Service Network test to start in Orlando, Fla., in April. Fully interactive system includes movies; news-on-demand with information from Time Inc. magazines; home shopping; and electronic classified ads.

CD-ROM projects due this year from Life, People, Sports Illustrated.

Time publishes an annual almanac on CD-ROM.

Time is available on America Online; Money, Sunset available on CompuServe.

Sports Illustrated creating sports programming for FSN.

Southern Living Homes Group will coordinate design and construction of a futuristic home in Orlando that features all the high-tech capabilities of FSN.

Hearst Corp.

Contact:

Al Sikes, president, Hearst New Media & Technology division

Interactivities:

Partner with five Canadian companies in an interactive TV test to start in 1995 in Quebec. Will provide classified advertising, transactional services and information directories.

Plans to launch HomeNet, a family of interactive products covering home design, maintenance and decorating, later ths year. Will include online service, CD-ROMs and eventually a TV-based interactive service.

Acquired equity interest in software publisher Books That Work. Plans to co-publish CD-ROMs and diskettes based on Hearst titles.

Cosmopolitan's "Keep-Fit Program" due out this year on CD-Interactive, a format used by Philips Consumer Electronics.

Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper's Bazaar, House Beautiful, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, Sports Afield, Town & Country available on CompuServe.

Advance Publications/Conde Nast Publications

Contact:

Rochelle Udell, VP-creative marketing & new media.

Interactivities:

Bought 20% interest in Wired.

Reader's Digest Association

Contact:

Jack Smith, VP-corporate planning

Interactivities:

Philips Consumer Electronics CD-I disc due in early '95 based on Readers' Digest books. Contains no ads.

Uses CD-ROMs internally to distribute text and art to various foreign editions.

Looking into CD-ROM versions of Reader's Digest.

Family Handyman available on CompuServe.

International Data Group

Contact:

Greg Titus, director of IDG marketing

Interactivities:

Network World Electronic Marketplace, available in the fourth quarter, will allow customers to search, read and cross-tab information from Computerworld, Infoworld, Network World and possibly Macworld, PC World and Publish. Users can view advertising, research vendor products on-line and either purchase or send price quote requests to the vendor through the system.

Network World hosts a free bulletin board that allows users to interact with other readers and editors, search Networking Careers Online database and download evaluation copies of commercial software.

On-line editions: PC World on America Online and CompuServe; Macworld on America Online, and soon on Apple Computer's eWorld, CompuServe and Dow Jones; Multimedia World is published on-line with PCWorld, but it will be creating its own on-line service in the future; Computerworld on General Electric Business Talk System, Dow Jones News Retrieval and Internet's Electronic Newsstand.

Offers PC World Exec/Direct, a high-tech shopping mall for vendors and buyers of PC-related products, on CompuServe.

Macworld Resource CD, published quarterly, offers reviews and ratings of products with advertiser-supplied catalogs and demos; Computer Select CD-ROM, published monthly, offers industry articles, Macworld content and hardware/software descriptions of computer products.

Multimedia World plans to start a monthly CD-ROM edition and product resource CD in the fourth quarter.

Computerworld publishes a quarterly CD-ROM, as well as a Product Showcase CD-ROM and Private Label editions that give advertisers the opportunity to sponsor their own customized CD-ROM issue of Computerworld with detailed product catalogs and advertisements.

Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.

Contact:

Michael Kolowich, president, Ziff-Davis Interactive; Robert Howells, president, Ziff Information Access Co.

Interactivities:

Plans to start Interchange Online Network, with on-line versions of magazines from Ziff and other publishers. Will test advertising on the service.

Operates ZiffNet on-line service on CompuServe and Prodigy. ZiffNet also will be available on Apple Computer's eWorld on-line service.

Will sponsor a business information section on eWorld.

Offers PC on CompuServe, Prodigy and America Online; Computer Gaming World on CompuServe and Prodigy; PC Week, Computer Shopper, PC/Computing, Macweek, MacUser and Windows Sources on CompuServe.

Distributed 20,000 CD-ROM versions of PC at Comdex last fall.

Teaming with Walt Disney Co. to launch a family oriented computer magazine this fall. Also plans 1994 launch for a separate family computer magazine that will have electronic companions (an on-line service and CD-ROMs, both with ads) when it launches.

Operates Computer Library, providing CD-ROM database services for computer users.

Automobile Information Center, 50% owned by Ziff, plans to offer car information on CD-ROM, on-line and via fax. Looking for ways to include advertising.

News Corp.

Contact:

Jim Platt, VP-special media projects, News America New Media; Jaan Torv, senior exec VP, Delphi Internet Services

Interactivities:

Bought Delphi Internet Services last year. Plans to use the on-line service as testing ground for electronic versions of magazines and newspapers.

Testing TV Guide Online in 1,000 subscribers' homes and is planning to offer the service over Delphi. TV Guide Online will offer extended information not available in the printed TV Guide. On-line edition does not carry ads.

Completed first test of interactive TV program guide called "TV Guide On Screen" in August 1993. Test was conducted in 18 homes served by Tele-Communications Inc. in the Denver area. Plans to start second test in employee homes this spring.

Meredith Corp.

Contact:

Joe Ward, president of Meredith Multimedia Interactive.

Interactivities:

Published "Better Homes & Gardens Healthy Cooking" guide on CD-ROM last August. "Better Homes & Gardens Guide to Gardening" due out in April on CD-ROM. No ads on either.

Believed to be exploring creating cable TV networks based on its magazines.

McGraw-Hill

Contact:

Andrea Broadbent, promotion manager-editorial databases

Interactivities:

Published Business Week's top 1,000 companies on CD-ROM last summer.

Looking into other CD-ROM projects based on Business Week.

Offers CD-ROM versions of many of its databases, including Standard & Poor's ratings and Aviation Week directory.

Hachette Filipacchi Magazines

Mario Cooper, VP-Hachette Filipacchi Multimedia

Interactivities:

Working with Tele-Communications Inc. on automotive-theme channel to launch in late 1994. Channel would be based on Hachette magazines Road & Track, Car & Driver and Cycle World.

Co-sponsored "TV Car Showroom," a home shopping show that ran on Home Shopping Network last fall.

Exploring cable TV avenues for programming based on Woman's Day, Elle and home magazines.

Elle Decor provided editorial material for Apple Computer's En Passant CD-ROM home shopping project, tested last fall.

CD-ROM based on Car & Driver due out this fall; likely will contain advertising but no deals signed yet.

Exploring CD-ROM opportunities based on Elle, Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home and Home.

Will offer Car & Driver, Flying, Popular Photography, Road & Track and Stereo Review on America Online starting this summer.

Seeking alliance with an infomercial company to produce infomercials for Hachette advertisers.

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