Scientific American launches new Web site

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Scientific American launched a new Web site, 60 Second Science, earlier this week.

Started as a daily podcast in 2006, 60 Second Science is targeted at a younger, broader demographic base than Scientific American's print product and original Web site.

The median age of Scientific American magazine readers is 40 to 45 years old; for sciam.com, median viewer age is 40. Located at www.60secondscience.com, 60 Second Science is aiming for a median age of 35 for viewers. The site is also designed to attract more women to the SciAm audience, which currently skews male.

"We launched 60 Second Science as a podcast last September because we felt there was a group of people who were interested in science, but quite busy, [without the] time to read a long article," Mina Lux, managing director and VP of online for Scientific American explained. "We wanted something quick that would fuel water cooler conversation for the day, and it quickly became one of the top podcasts on iTunes."

With the success of the podcast, the company decided to continue with text coverage of that type of content for the science field because, according to Lux, "There's a lot of that for tech, but not much for science. We wanted a Web site for busy people interested in science."

The site features seven daily blogs - most of which are updated before noon each day, audio/video podcasts, links to SciAm articles and social networking capabilities. It also features the first SciAm widget, which allows users to post 60 Second Science podcasts to personal Web pages and blogs.

Lux said that the site's broader appeal should help SciAm attract a wider range of advertisers. Consumer products aimed at women, for example, are now more likely to buy SciAm ad space thanks to 60 Second Science's dual audience.

Scientific American will continue to invest in its digital strategy moving forward.

"We're focusing on the growth of 60 Second Science, and it's really the first sign for us to show the world that we know science is more and more significant to one's daily life," Lux said. "This is quick bites of science you can use. We want to have a digital strategy to be able to be the source for consumer's daily lives when it comes to science."

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