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Still facing backlash over racism allegations from staffers and the related departure of longtime Bon Appétit editor Adam Rapoport, multimedia conglomerate Condé Nast used its first NewFronts presentation to tell advertisers it’s committed to “providing a platform for new voices, diverse content, and inclusive programming that is more representative of multicultural audiences and communities.”

It also unveiled the new Condé Nast Podcast Network and several new ad products: Prime Live, which offers advertisers space at historically exclusive events like the Met Gala; The Influence Network, an ad-performance tool with data from Nielsen; and Prime Shoppable, which embeds tap-to-buy ads in Condé Nast’s original programming. The latter (apparently a similar feature to YouTube‘s new browsable ads) will appear across Condé Nast’s YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest channels, the company said, and will first appear in Grooming Gods, an original digital celebrity haircut series based on the GQ column of the same name.

Additionally, Condé Nast revealed that during 2020 and 2021, it will increase linear distribution of its original shows on connected-TV devices and services like Roku, Vizio, and Pluto. On the content front, it has renewed 57 original shows, and has 150 new digital pilots and 50 new social series in the works.

Five of those new shows–one going to an as-yet-unidentified streaming service and four to be distributed on its social channels–will come from subsidiary GQ Sports, which has sealed an exclusive content deal with the National Basketball Association. The first series to emerge from that deal, Training My Double, pairs NBA players with fans for a day of training and discussions about activism, entrepreneurial pursuits, and education. Condé Nast says the series will be entirely directed by Black filmmakers.

28 million hours of podcast listening, with YouTube watch time up 61%

Condé Nast is launching its podcast network after seeing 28 million hours of listen time across its podcasts last year. So far this year, downloads of its in-house podcasts have spiked by 26%, the company said. (Signs that it was investing more into podcasts appeared earlier this year, when it formed podcast, film, and TV studios for its biggest verticals.)

The network will launch with seven new podcasts, including In Vogue, an exploration of ’90s fashion and culture hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna WintourThe Pitchfork Review, a music podcast from the folks at industry digital magazine Pitchfork; and Get Wired, from Condé Nast’s titular tech vertical, which will explore “all the ways technology is changing our lives.”

As for continuing to push digital series, Condé Nast says its YouTube presence–which counts 45 million subscribers across numerous channels–saw a 52% growth in subscribers and 61% growth in watch time from last year to this year.


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