NewFronts mainstay Condé Nast announced 75 returning series and 50 new pilots, plus a renewed emphasis on long-form and live programming.
The company delivered an online presentation for the second year in a row, but it included initiatives based on live events, an element that was missing in the Covid-affected 2020 pitch to advertisers.
Along with projects like Netflix’s Last Chance U and Escape from Spiderhead, Condé Nast Entertainment — led by Disney alum Agnes Chu — two other examples were mentioned. The Woman Shaking Up the Diamond Industry is set up at Sony and is based on Ed Caesar’s 2020 New Yorker piece. And Yes People, from CNE’s New Yorker Studios, earned an Oscar nomination this year for Best Animated Short Film.
The slate of digital programming will range across 17 brand channels, including a relaunched one for Vanity Fair. The magazine’s longtime Oscar presence will anchor a live programming push, as well as GQ Sports at events like the Super Bowl and Vogue at the Met Gala. Canceled by the pandemic in 2020, the gala is slated to make its in-person return in September before resuming its timing in May in 2022.
Two exhibitions at the Met Museum in New York will accompany the two galas. New live programming will bring viewers coverage of final fittings and last-minute looks and the red carpet, one of the glitziest of any year and likely a sight for pandemic-sore eyes.
Condé Nast had already been in the midst of a significant corporate makeover before the pandemic, managing through ongoing print declines and digtial competition. Under CEO Roger Lynch, a veteran of Pandora and Dish Network’s Sling TV, he has brought an outsider’s eye to the media company. One tailwind this year has been a big upswing in digital ad spending, especially in video.
Other initiative unveiled at the NewFronts was a new performance marketing product, Condé Nast Shoppable, along with a slate of shoppable video series.
Citing Nielsen stats, Condé Nast said its video network has delivered 10.3 million unique incremental viewers who were not reached by broadcast or cable, up 6% year over year.
“Last year we announced the launch of the Condé Nast Influence Network, our alternative to traditional broadcast and cable networks, showcasing our unmatched ability to create video content that resonates with consumers and drives the cultural conversation,” said Pam Drucker Mann, global chief revenue officer and president, U.S. revenue. “This year, we’re building on that influence by creating more engaging, interactive experiences for our audiences and distributing them across new channels.”
The company said its global video network currently drives an average of 1 billion monthly views, with an average of over 18 minutes spent per viewer each month. On YouTube, Condé Nast has over 61.5 million subscribers across its global channels, and its OTT and linear channels are up 119% year over year in time spent.
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