kandee-johnson

The digital video division of Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE) now spans a dozen YouTube channels related to the publisher’s proprietary magazine brands. Most of the offerings we’ve seen from those channels have been high-quality scripted series backed by star power, ranging from Most Expensivest S**t to Codefellas. Now, CNE is looking to focus more on the Internet’s homegrown video community, and that’s exactly what it’s done thanks to a deal with YouTube beauty guru Kandee Johnson.

Johnson, who describes her online video home  as “the happiest channel on YouTube,” shares her favorite looks with more than 2.3 million subscribers. Through her deal with CNE, she will star a number of different web series, the first of which will be announced early next year. CNE didn’t say which of its channels Johnson will appear on, though Glamour, Allure, and Vogue all seem like logical choices.

What’s most interesting about CNE’s deal with Johnson is that it resembles the sort of agreement a YouTuber would make with a multi-channel network. CNE will be in charge of ad sales on Johnson’s YouTube channel and will seek out branded content opportunities for her. CNE chief revenue office Lisa Valentino told AdAge that it sees partnerships like this one “as long-term commitments to being in the premium content space.”

Johnson is the first YouTuber partner CNE has announced, but she won’t be alone. According to AdAge’s report, CNE will strike similar deals with five to ten other content creators, each of whom will match up with a specific category like food, beauty, or music.

Some YouTubers have already appeared on CNE’s online video channels. Johnson, for example, hosted Beauty ReCovered, in which she recreated some of Glamour’s most famous covers.

CNE didn’t give any specifics about when it will announce its other deals, but Whitney Howard, the company’s SVP of business development and strategy, did tell Adweek that other partners will be announced over the next few months.

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