By Sahil Patel
Conde Nast Entertainment, the video division of Conde Nast, is no stranger to YouTube creators, having worked with many on its ever-growing slate of original programming. It now wants to make those relationships stronger by launching a new “digital contributor program” that leverages the influence of top creators in exchange for providing them with content, distribution, and ad-sales support.
The program is launching with beauty guru Kandee Johnson, who’s signed on as CNE’s “lead beauty contributor.” Per the deal, CNE will partner with Johnson to develop multiple original projects for Conde Nast’s digital platforms. Johnson previously starred in the CNE-produced series “Beauty Recovered” for Glamour.
These new shows, the first of which will be announced in early 2015, will be available across multiple Conde Nast channels on YouTube, in addition to the company’s video site The Scene and syndication network, which includes AOL, Yahoo, Dailymotion, Roku, and Xbox.
CNE said it will also work with Johnson to develop TV and film projects.
It’s also now the exclusive ad sales rep for Johnson’s YouTube channels, which combine to reach more than 2.6 million subscribers.
As for Johnson, in addition to leading on beauty content, she will provide curated playlists and social media support for Conde Nast’s original programming and digital channels. She will continue to produce beauty and lifestyle videos for her own channels, independently of CNE.
The contributor program certainly has the feel of an MCN-style initiative for CNE. In the coming months, the company plans to announce similar partnerships with top YouTube creators across verticals like fashion, fitness, food, music, and sports.
“Our digital contributor program represents CNE’s continued belief in the power of the YouTube platform, the remarkable talent in the YouTube community, and our combined ability to reach highly coveted audiences via digital distribution, traditional television, print media, and beyond,” said Whitney Howard, SVP of business development and strategy for CNE, in a statement.