The theme of Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE)’s presentation at the 2017 NewFronts was made clear to all in attendance. Multiple times, the studio arm of publisher Conde Nast touted its wares as “next gen,” whether it was referring to the 65 shows from its network it will continue producing, the 40 new ones it plans to release, or the other innovations it is premiering across fields like content incubator and ad technology.
If CNE’s approach is “next gen,” the generation it is targeting is the one currently targeted by many NewFronts presenters: the coveted millennial. CNE said its 22 brands reach 70% of the consumers in that cohort, and the media company was particularly bullish on its ability to reach both men and women; the former through outlets like GQ and Wired, and the latter through the likes of The Scene and Vogue.
Altogether, that approach produced 4.5 billion views in 2016, 510 million minutes of watch time per month, and, according to Comscore, 19.9 million monthly unique viewers. The goal is to add to that tally with 5000 videos per year, according to CNE CRO Lisa Valentino.
Where CNE’s “next gen” approach is most felt is in its partnerships with other brands. The media company is rolling out a new offering for advertisers called “The Hit Predictor,” which it says will allow brands to get in front of videos from CNE’s top series before they go viral. It is also embracing modern ad trends by launching shoppable content as well as interactive and vertical-screen formats.
Outside of the ad world, CNE is doubling down on its slate of incubator projects. It announced that The Big Script, a partnership with the team at Indigenous Media, will return to produce more screenplays from young writers. Another incubator, launched in tandem with Jaunt and the University of Southern California, will target the world of VR.
“In just four years, CNÉ has achieved the scale of television with the relevance of digital, so investing in content on emerging platforms, like VR, while supporting young, diverse creators is in our DNA,” said Dawn Ostroff, President of CNÉ, in a press release. “We are pleased to be expanding our successful partnership with Jaunt and its VR lab. The students at USC are talented and driven, and we look forward to working with them as they develop into next gen filmmakers.”