Hearst, MTV Networks Create Digital Seventeen

Hearst and MTV Networks have partnered to produce a digital issue of Seventeen magazine which will be available within newly launched Web-based virtual world Virtual MTV.

MTV has begun inviting Seventeen readers to a private beta version of the new MTV virtual world both in the December/January issue of the print magazine and on Seventeen.com. In the new world these readers can then access a virtual issue of Seventeen featuring exclusive content, which includes a several branded virtual goods such as a Ralph Lauren bag and a Seventeen poster. There are behind the scenes photos and video clips from various Seventeen events available as well.

In addition, these visitors can experiment with Virtual MTV, which previously was available only as a downloadable applications distributed through channels like Facebook. In Virtual MTV, users can create an avatar and decorate a virtual home. As part of the promotion, MTV and Hearst and hosting a virtual launch party on Dec. 8th which will be attended by including an appearance by Whitney Port  (The Hills) as well as several Seventeen editorial staffers.

Hearst is not the first real world magazine company to explore publishing in the virtual space. Just a few months ago, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.’s Elle inked a deal with tween/teen-aimed virtual world Stardoll to produce the virtual pub Stardoll Magazine.