Facing Losses, Condé Nast Plans to Put 3 Magazines Up for Sale


Edmund Lee and Sapna Maheshwari:

After decades of arresting covers featuring stars like Katharine Hepburn (Vanity Fair, April 1934) and Rihanna (Vogue, June 2018), Condé Nast is morphing from a company of glossy print magazines with high-priced ads into a producer of short-form videos with commercials. The videos include how-to shorts affiliated with Glamour and Allure and celebrity interviews produced for Vogue and W. The Vogue series, “73 Questions With,” has generated more than 300 million views since it began in 2014.
Each month the company produces an average of 417 videos that play on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and its own websites. Some tackle subjects not often associated with Condé Nast. “Last Chance U,” a documentary series focused on college athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds, stands out from the rest. Produced by Condé Nast, it appears on Netflix.
Condé Nast has made some bad bets. It pulled the plug last year on its attempt at an online fashion retail site, Style.com, after nine months of development and an investment of more than $100 million. But recent investments may lift its online ad business. Advance spent $500 million in 2015 to acquire 1010data Inc., a start-up that helps collect and analyze data for advertising and subscription purposes. Last year Condé Nast bought CitizenNet, which helps the company sell targeted ads.

Reading this entire article just made me depressed. This is what the iconic magazines are coming to: viral video-bait with a dash of meager attempts at ad tech. Neither of which will work (clearly). Sigh.


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