Bauer relaunches Woman’s Day and Women’s Weekly websites to ‘entice’ more print readers

Bauer Media’s newly created digital division Xcel Media has relaunched the online properties of its two flagships brands Woman’s Day and The Australian Women’s Weekly, with the Weekly’s editor-in-chief Helen McCabe hopeful the improved online presence will “entice” women into buying the print product.

Women's WeeklyWoman's Day

The Weekly website, to be edited by Cleo’s Rosie Squires, will offer daily news and current affairs along with content designed “to help women get the most out of every day” with articles focusing on careers, relationships, fashion, beauty and royals, while the print title will be dedicated to long-form journalism.

“We’re not trying to compete with or We’re trying to give tailored, specific, interesting, original content to a mass-market female audience,” McCabe told Mumbrella.

Woman’s Day will focus on celebrity and entertainment news, with the website set to work with international teams across the Bauer Media network in the US and UK to provide a 24/7 user experience.

McCabe also said the website would have a broader appeal than female-focussed sites Mia Freedman’s Mamamia or Debrief Daily.

“I see us as sitting in the same space as the Women’s Weekly, and that is spanning across all women, and not targeting one particular age brief,” she said.

“Mamamia, and I’m loathe to put word’s in Mia Freedman’s mouth, that always appeared to be to me a 30+ website and Debrief Daily is a 40+ website.

Helen McCabe editor The Australian Women's Weekly at Mumbrella 360, 2014.

Helen McCabe editor The Australian Women’s Weekly at Mumbrella 360, 2014.

“We are going to be what we are in the magazine form for whatever age you want to start reading the Weekly, which is broadly around 20, which is right through to 90 or 100.”

On how the audience of the Weekly website compares to the audience of the print product, McCabe said they’re the same demographic and same average age but currently “there’s only 10 per cent cross over”.

“The women that are going online aren’t buying the magazine so that’s a challenge. I’m hoping the content online will entice women into wanting to invest in the printed product but equally that’s not the end game,” she said.

“The end game is to boost the eyeballs on the sight to the point where it dominates in the online space as it dominates in the printed space.”

The new sites take a “mobile first approach to design and user experience” and aim to mark a new digital editorial direction for both titles.

“It’s just a recognition of where we’re headed,” McCabe said on the digital first focus. “More and more of what we do is on mobile. Of course it’s mobile first because that’s a growth area.”

“I’m conscious that not everyone will read the longer form pieces on mobile,” she added.

Woman's WeeklyThe Weekly website will include some longer form journalism on the site alongside the shorter, more news style pieces.

“It will be a mixture in the same way the magazine is a mixture, so it will be very well suited to whatever device you use and hopefully you’ll be inspired to go out and spend $6.95 for original, independent, long-form journalism that will be largely quarantined in the magazine,” added McCabe.

The longer form content on the website will draw on the title’s catalogue of stories which can be repurposed, with the titles also able to use the sites to “tell the story behind a story”.

“We will bounce off our own content from the magazine but we won’t cannibalise it,” McCabe said.

On if the new website would see the Weekly pushing more strongly into the native advertising space similar to that of Mamamia, McCabe was coy, saying it was something the title would look at on a case by-case basis.

“Native advertising is here to stay. It’s certainly something our clients are looking for, I’m certainly not opposed to it and of course I want the site to be commercially successful but we take it on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

“The principles of the website will be the same as the magazine. One of the joys of this title is that it is incredibly well regarded but equally that means our readership demands a certain standards from us.

“We will be attempting to work in the contemporary advertising model but at the same time respect the readers.”

Woman's WeeklyThe website will host video content, with McCabe hosting a new weekly video segment ‘Let’s Talk’, produced in collaboration with Brand New Media, which sees McCabe interview pairs of “interesting women”.

The interviews will kick off with an interview with sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick and Miss Universe 2010 runner up Jesinta Campbell.

“We did a series of interviews in which I paired what I thought were interesting women together and talked on relationships, stress and well being, career and personal issues,” explained McCabe.

On Rosie Squires’ appointment as online editor, McCabe was full of praise.

“I worked with Rosie in my life at newspapers and I often like to say she won every young journalism award before she started winning journalism awards,” she said.

“I’m thrilled that I’m working with her and she will be the key to this site’s success.”

The relaunch of the two title’s websites coincides with Bauer Media launching Food To Love, which is part of the company’s strategy to make its To Love network the number one digital destination for Australian woman. Other online properties in the network, including Health To Love, Family To Love and Homes To Love will continue to roll out across the year.

Miranda Ward


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