Bauer Media relaunches mobile-first Dolly with a focus on video and a presence on Snapchat

Bauer Media has officially relaunched its teen magazine Dolly as a mobile-first, digital offering complemented with a bi-monthly “re-imagined” magazine.

The relaunch of the magazine, which had been struggling with circulation, was announced in January when the magazine publisher closed iconic magazine Cleo.Dolly image (1)

Speaking to Mumbrella, Dolly publisher Marina Go said: “One of the things the magazine industry needs to do is take a hard look at the purpose of magazines now within the new information age, and people are acquiring information in different ways, particularly teenagers. We looked at the research and what we know of the way our audiences are interacting with our brand, which is primarily through the mobile version of the site through a smartphone.”


Go: “Dolly in the format it was in was becoming less relevant to the lives of teenage girls”

The relaunch comes as Bauer research shows that more than 90% of Dolly’s 14 to 17-year-old target audience engages with the title via their smartphones.

“We had to have a look at the purpose of the magazine in the view of the fact that most teenagers are going to get that instant gratification information via their most direct means, which is their smartphone. We wanted to assess if there was an appropriate place for print in their lives,” said Go.

“We believe there is a place in our readers’ lives for content that is curated especially for them around the very basic need of life information. We refer to the magazine as a guidebook, as what we’ve done is we’ve distilled information around relationships, sex and Dolly Doctor with extensive specials around issues.

“We’re taking a deep dive with content in the print form. We know young women are reading long articles and want more information and depth. Dolly in the format it was in, and with the content mix and structure, was becoming less relevant to their life because it was too snackable.”

The new will feature breaking celebrity news, fashion, beauty and lifestyle content and and will also have new features including a custom quiz platform and emoji reactions.

Short-form video content will also be a fundamental feature with content produced in a purpose-built Dolly studio. InRead native video advertising platform Teads will offer advertisers engagement opportunities with consumers.

“Our mobile platform will be very video heavy and that is based on consumer needs,” said Go.

The new Dolly magazine is edited by Josephine Rozenberg-Clarke, with Emily Kerr the digital managing editor, Meg Bellemore the beauty and lifestyle editor, and Bree Player the features editor. The publication has seven full-time staff members working across print and digital.

Dolly has also launched on Snapchat, with Go saying the editorial team is creating specific content for the social media channel.

“The guys are creating special content. It goes again to our entire premise of looking at every channel and working out what sort of content creation we need to gain the best out of each channel and we know our readers use each platform for different readers,” said Go.

“For Snapchat, there are specific stories being created for Dolly that won’t appear anywhere else. I feel like we’ve got a bit of a formula there and for the first time have set down a strategy for each platform and that’s why we’re excited about it.”

The Dolly magazine will continue to have its circulation audited, Go said; however, she admitted it is difficult to assess the website’s audience due to the age of its readership.

“The interesting thing about the website is (Nielsen) don’t audit under a certain age. My understanding is at the moment it is very difficult to get an accurate number for our site because of the age of our audience,” said Go.

“In terms of accuracy of numbers we are basically having to report our Google Analytics at the moment because the Nielsen data is inaccurate when it comes to teenagers.”

According to the most recent Audit of Circulation Bureau figures, Dolly had a circulation of 28,030.

Alongside the bi-monthly magazine, the Dolly team will produce a Dolly poster book which is published every other month.

Miranda Ward

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