According to an unnamed source at Condé Nast, today’s New York Observer reports, head-honcho Si Newhouse is “against anything that he feels takes the focus away from the printed magazine brand. That’s why he used to be so against digital.”
But today’s story wasn’t about how Newhouse has mended his ways to incorporate Condé Nast Digital into his magazines’ 10-year plan. Instead, the quote serves to reinforce how anti-Newhouse the idea of marketing the Condé brand for licensing purposes is. But it’s been a tough two years for the company and a lot of concessions have had to be made: we may not be so far off from a reality where Gourmet gets a second life in the form of cookbooks and baking supplies.
The Observer called up several Condé employees and asked them to speculate (anonymously, of course!) on what the future marketing of products under the Condé label might look like:
“…perhaps something like Gilt Groupe, the online luxury brand discounter, but developed by Condé Nast–say, an online sample sale brought to you by Lucky, from which Condé Nast takes a cut. Or maybe rewrite freelancers’ contracts so that if an article is optioned for film, Condé Nast will see some of that money. All sorts of e-commerce deals, or Condé-endorsed conferences that charge awfully big fees right up front.”
Will Condé and its editors start to endorse products? Though you can’t yet place a dollar amount on a phrase like “the preferred scent of Graydon Carter/Anna Wintour,” we suspect that one day you might be able to — and that day may not be too far off.
Read More: Is That Condé You’re Wearing? Publisher May License Brands —New York Observer