Hearst experiments with side projects

Hearst this week sold a majority stake in its topics app LMK to digital holding company Black Ocean. The size of the deal wasn’t especially noteworthy, but it does show that the publisher is looking to businesses outside of traditional editorial, and is trying its hand at “becoming incubators of startups that can then be sold,” paidContent pointed out today.

Earlier this year, Hearst launched organizational service Manilla, which helps users keep track of finances, rewards programs and subscriptions.

Late last month, Hearst Magazines UK announced a partnership with Zappar, an “augmented reality” app. Consumers who buy the print products can use the app to “bring the covers to life.” The app is free from iTunes or the Android Market Place, and when used, plays exclusive content on handheld devices from each magazine cover.

Just last week Hearst announced it would back YouTube’s new original channels, according to ClickZ. The channels are a way for Hearst to maximize its editorial brands, with staffers from titles like Car and Driver and Popular Mechanics offering their expertise on the Automotive channel, and staffers from titles like Marie Claire and Seventeen offering their advice on a Fashion and Beauty Channel.

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