Conde Nast Uses Rating System to Show Slate Outpaces Television at 2017 Newfronts Presentation
Progressive and robust, Conde Nast had one message at its 2017 Newfronts Presentation — its slate is better than Television. Conde President Dawn Ostrof kicked off her portion of the show reviewing Conde Nast’s various projects that have hit the big, the silver and the small screen to critical acclaim, but more important than the “standard of quality [Conde Nast] brings to the content [they create]” is the fact that Conde’s programming is “ahead of its peers according to Comscore metrics, but what you may not realize is [Conde Nast’s] content is outperforming some traditional television networks.”
Across its thousands of videos created last year, 700 of them passed 1 million video views, which Ostrof equated to a 2.0 rating as compared to television’s current average of a 1.0 rating across dozens of shows, in the 18–49 demo. “Now the second screen has become the first screen,” she said.
It’s a message that we’ve written about ad nauseum at VideoInk — benchmarking digital series against each other and most certainly against television. As the dollars shift toward digital, more publishers should follow in Conde Nast’s footprints. In a discussion with a Nielsen spokesperson last Fall, VideoInk was told that Nielsen has been providing a side-by-side comparison for its clients but that it was “no longer in the business of declaring winners and losers” and that it was “up to the publisher to disclose their numbers.” An odd response for a business whose lifeblood relied, and still does rely, on the publicly reported rating system.
In addition to its commitment to producing another aggressive slate of programming across all screens, Conde Nast made a strong pitch for why advertisers can trust the Conde Nast brands given its legacy but activate the company based on its deep understanding of what the demo is watching.
“Our results speak for themselves, we’ve had enormous viral hits on every platform,” said Ostrof citing “Google Autocomplete” on YouTube, “GQ’s Donald Trump Gets a Makeover” on Facebook, and “Broken”, an original series on Conde Nast’s video destination The Scene.
“We have more unique viewers than many of our traditional and digital media peers,” added Ostrof to hammer home the point that Conde Nast shows represent the new Primetime. “Many of our series drive TV-like scale,” added Chief Revenue Officer Lisa Valentino, in her pitch to the crowd.
While the messages were different, both of today’s presentations by Conde Nast and Defy Media took a hack at television, speaking to the room of advertisers in a language they speak — ratings and scale. And while Defy pushed the power of brand, and Conde leveled the playing field through metrics, the question becomes — “Were their messages strong enough, loud enough, to drive the industry to follow suit?”
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM CONDE NAST (Drawn from the company’s publicly distributed release):
NEW ADVERTISING PRODUCTS:
Condé Nast also unveiled three new advertising products, all of which are video-led, mobile-first and engineered for engagement.
Video IQ — an interactive ad unit that brings together video and quizzes, the two most engaging products in digital, in a mobile-first product that is engineered for engagement.
Video2 — working with partner Celtra, Condé Nast has taken vertical video to a new level with swiping features that are guaranteed to engage users.
ShopIt — working with partner Clicktivated, Condé Nast delivers on the promise of users buying directly from a video.
NEW DOCUMENTARY SERIES:
Directed by Morgan Spurlock, “Generation US” takes viewers across the country, highlighting individuals of the same demographics and circumstances in different geographic regions. The series will ultimately examine the issues and experiences that divide yet unite us.
Through the Fire
Directed by Rod Blackhurst, “Through the Fire” will take a closer look at the legacies of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, who perished during the unprecedented 2013 wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona. The event is also the subject of a film, produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and based on an article in GQ, which will be released by Sony in October.
NEW DIGITAL SERIES:
Pop Feminist/Teen Vogue
Pop Feminist is your entertainment news breakdown with a Teen Vogue twist. In each episode, Teen Vogue entertainment editor Sandra Song breaks down the latest happenings in pop culture through an intersectional feminist lens.
Back to Back Chef/Bon Appétit
In just 15 minutes, a celebrity chef challenges an everyday home cook to create one of their signature dishes — with one catch, they can’t look at each other — only able to take verbal clues literally facing back to back.
Infidelity is a topic that many couples deal with but rarely talk about openly. The Scene’s original series, Broken, brings former and current couples together with the hope of finding closure. The couples confront each other openly and honestly about infidelity, resulting in an emotional and cathartic conversation. The pilot episode, which aired in February, spurred an internationally-recognized hashtag, #hurtbae, and has been viewed more than 55 million times.
A celebrity goes undercover on the internet and responds to comments on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Quora, and YouTube
…In 2 Minutes/Glamour
…In 2 Minutes is a scripted, live-action series that breaks down the signs and symptoms of our biological processes and the science behind them. In the first episode, Your Period in 2 Minutes, an actress portrays all of the relatable physiological changes that a woman experiences during her monthly cycle. The franchise has nearly limitless potential, featuring popular, searchable and shareable topics.
Celebrities use the power of Twitter, answering real-time questions on often surprising areas of expertise.
Take a peek inside some of your favorite stars’ lives through the innovative interview series, 73 Questions. Shot in one take at celebs’ homes or on set, each episode gives viewers access to a delightful and intimate look into who these celebrities are and how they live their lives as only Vogue can. With its A-list interview subjects, this series has a track record of delivering an avalanche of press and buzz around each episode’s debut. The series has recorded 126.4M global total views with 5.1M average global total views per video.
Beauty Trend Evolutions/Allure
What was the 1920s trend equivalent of the Kardashians’ boxer braids? Have lipstick looks gotten bolder over the years? Find out in these beautiful videos that take Allure viewers through the evolution of a certain beauty trend over a roughly 100-year period. Each video covers one beauty trend exquisitely executed on a real life model. These videos transport viewers to each era through beauty products such as bangs, brows, blush and lipstick that defined each decade.
24 Hours Working Straight at…/Bon Appétit
What does it take to run a restaurant that never closes? Bon Appétit spends 24 hours
Behind-the-scenes of an iconic dining establishment, giving viewers an insider’s look at what goes into the preparation of delicious food. Deputy editor Andrew Knowlton works alongside the staff, preparing dishes, bussing tables — whatever it takes to keep customers coming back for seconds. This James Beard Award-winning franchise represents the very best of Bon Appétit.
Is there such a thing as “the one”? Does what we want on paper really align with what we want in real life? This Glamour series asks one woman per episode to answer 35 specific questions about her ideal mate. Unbeknownst to her, our team has already used her preferences to find someone who matches all of her criteria. We surprise her with a blind date that very same day and document what really happens when she meets her Perfect Match.
Secret Talent Theater/Vanity Fair
The Hollywood Issue, photographed by Annie Leibovitz, is one of the most sought after editions of Vanity Fair. On the day of the shoot, Hollywood’s most talented actresses come together to be photographed because of their on-screen achievements. Behind-the-scenes, the A-listers show off their hidden talents inside our Secret Talent Theater. In each episode, an actress steps into our glamorous set reminiscent of a classic Hollywood period jewel box theater and stages their own delightful performance. This successful series has featured Jennifer Lawrence showing off her mime skills, Cate Blanchett doing the splits, and Emma Stone teaching us how to use a pogo stick.
Is Jennifer Lawrence quitting Hollywood? Is Ice Cube a nice guy? Does Ryan Reynolds know martial arts? Does Gerard Butler still surf? The internet searches for answers and WIRED goes right to the source, when celebrities answer the most Googled questions about themselves.