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Condé Nast Entertainment Touts 'Upscale' Appeal at NewFronts

Plans to launch digital video hub this summer

The print media world is buzzing about Condé Nast Entertainment's second NewFronts presentation yesterday afternoon, once again having taken over a swanky event space at 583 Park Avenue. After a run-through of its current and upcoming programming (set to a Top 40 soundtrack that included the Iggy Azalea song “Fancy,” which managed to perfectly encapsulate the presentation’s core message), CNE revealed the big news: a brand-new digital video platform called The Scene.

When it launches this July, The Scene will contain programming from CNE’s more than 100 branded shows as well as curated content from a roster of partners including ABC News, BuzzFeed, Major League Soccer, Variety, Weather Channel Films and Jash. CNE chief digital officer Fred Santarpia described The Scene as a place where digital programming “won’t get lost in a sea of television clips” and user-generated content (that would be YouTube).

As for the programming itself, since CNE’s NewFronts debut last year, the company has built a network of 11 digital channels around such tony brands as Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and Wired. By next month, the network’s programming will have amassed a total of 1 billion views, half of which have come from mobile devices, said CNE president Dawn Ostroff, who presided over the standing-room-only presentation. In the coming months, CNE plans to launch channels for three more brands: Bon Appétit, The New Yorker and Lucky.

Throughout the presentation, Ostroff repeatedly described CNE’s audience and offerings as very “upscale.” To that end, the new content previewed at CNE’s NewFront didn’t disappoint. CNE’s digital programming has always been considerably more elevated than the typical branded YouTube fare. This year, CNE will continue to take advantage its brands’ impressive ties with programming like Style.com’s In The Mood For, starring popular fashion blogger Leandra Medine (a.k.a. "The Man Repeller"); Vogue’s 73 Questions, which gets up close and personal with stars like Sarah Jessica Parker; and Bon Appétit’s Big Fat Weekend, hosted by the magazine’s popular restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton. Then, for a more-to-the-point example of CNE’s focus on “upscale" programming, there's GQ’s new series, Most Expensivest Sh*t.

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