Condé Nast wants to pitch itself as a ‘video-first’ company

Condé Nast announces Prime Time ad offering across its properties at NewFronts event

Condé Nast has been in the publishing game since 1909, yet it’s looking to shed any ‘traditional’ image it may have.

The mass media company’s chief marketing and revenue officer Pamela Drucker Mann sees Condé Nast as a “video-first” publisher, housing a family of brands disrupting the digital video marketplace by reeling in new audiences who aren’t familiar with the company’s print properties.

“We're not traditional to Gen Z-ers or millennials. In a way, they're experiencing us for the first time,” Drucker Mann told The Drum. “Ultimately, we have to re-introduce ourselves to audiences that've been apart of our [print] ecosystem for a long time, while on these [digital TV] platforms, we're introducing ourselves for the first time.”

At its IAB Digital Content NewFronts presentation on Tuesday, Condé Nast shared its latest video-first advertiser offering: Condé Nast Prime Time.

The ad product is the next step of Condé Nast Prime, which allows advertisers to buy against the company’s premium, cross-platform video inventory. Prime Time adds third-party measurement to the offering following an integration with Nielsen.

Condé Nast also pitched its new Prime Placement solution, essentially product integration, which is available for its most popular programs.

The publisher also announced it will bring back 50 original digital video series, and it has plans to launch 175 digital video pilots for the 2019-2020 season across its brands, which include Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Wired and Architectural Digest.

Bon Appétit digital video content earns 56-minutes of daily watch time from viewers, according to information from Condé Nast. Drucker Mann hopes this updated pitch of brand safety-plus-measurement will be a win.

“I think TV buyers, in their search for new audiences, have really struggled with transparency in terms of where their ads are delivered against these audiences. I do think that ultimately there's this new scarcity in the marketplace,” said Drucker Mann.

“If you can guarantee brand safety and eyeballs and TV-like watch time, you're going to probably do better in this new front than another potential partner.”

Condé Nast has recently had to either wholly or partly spike circulating some of its print properties, like Glamour and Teen Vogue. Drucker Mann claims the company still has “healthy audiences in print” though she sees “video as an incremental way” to connect with consumers.

“We like to say the world is our owned-and-operated, and we've really liberated ourselves in terms of where we create our content and when we create our content. One doesn't cancel out the other. It's really...expansion, not replacement.”

That expansion has made its way into OTT. Late last year, Condé Nast launched a dedicated Wired OTT app, and it did the same this February for Bon Appétit.

Condé Nast has over 25 million subscribers on YouTube, which Drucker Mann said is the platform the company most focuses on outside of its owned-and-operated channels. She added that there’s a “queue of other brands” that could earn their own OTT app as Condé Nast considers growing in the space.

Drucker Mann said the company is looking to extend the quality of its magazines into the digital video space, which will take a modern marketing approach to grab new audiences.

“It's not about remarketing; it's about marketing. We have a very specific marketing plan,” said Drucker Mann.

“A lot of our marketing is legitimately organic. It's through social, it's through our talent, and I think one of the reasons why it's been so well received is it's modern. It isn't trying to be what Bon Appétit was, and it's certainly not at all what Food Network is.”

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