SURVEYING THE SCENE: From a grand event space replete with a rotunda, white pillars and large crystal chandelier, Condé Nast Entertainment revealed the next phase of its digital content strategy Tuesday afternoon. Located on Park Avenue and 63rd Street in New York, CNE’s NewFront presentation consisted of several slick video clips advertising the company’s new digital programs. In between the clips, CNE president Dawn Ostroff, chief revenue officer Lisa Valentino and chief digital officer Fred Santarpia gave remarks over the hour-long presentation.
Ostroff said CNE would add three new channels this year to its inventory of 11. Those publications getting channels include The New Yorker, Lucky and Bon Appétit.
Bon App’s channel, which is set to launch in June, appeared to be the closest to being finished. While it had a few shows covering travel, cooking and restaurants, it did appear somewhat similar to the programming of cousin Epicurious — both of which were dubbed the authority in the culinary world.
While Lucky did not have a teaser ready, The New Yorker did, suggesting that it would be on narrative reporting, culture and the arts. Viewers will have to wait until “later this year” to see more from those publications, the executives said.
Perhaps the most interesting thing coming out of CNE is its new site called The Scene, which will feature all the channels in one place as well as curated outside content. This includes more than 100 digital series and programming from new media partners Buzzfeed, ABC News, Major League Soccer, Variety, Weather Channel Films and comedy site Jash, among others. The Scene launches in July and will be curated by Condé Nast.
According to Santarpia, the site was created because CNE’s programming was so vast and the company needed a central home for content. He also noted that it “addresses a void in the market.”
The Scene also undoubtedly gives CNE the potential to expand its distribution network and bring in more advertisers.
Valentino hinted at that, explaining: “Last year, we did business with over 80 advertisers. This year alone, we’ve surpassed that total.
“Folks, we are the insurgent in the video marketplace and we are the bet to make,” she crowed.
Ostroff was equally bullish as she described each “brand’s” influence. By the end of the year, magazines with channels will include Allure, Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Glamour, Golf Digest, GQ, Self, Style.com, Teen Vogue, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Wired, Lucky and The New Yorker. Other publications, such as Details, W and Brides, will get programming inspired by their brands.
“Each of our 20 brands stands out as a leader in their category,” Ostroff said, offering that, altogether, CNE content will surpass 1 billion views this year. “Our brands start trends and shape our culture.”
The point of all this is to attract Millennials, new young and affluent consumers, the company said during the presentation.
In a separate memo, Condé Nast president Robert Sauerberg cheered on the company, adding, “Since our very first NewFront last year, we’ve come a long way.”