Nearly a year and a half after Condé Nast Entertainment launched under the auspices of Dawn Ostroff, the division finally began rolling out its first online video offerings this morning.
Both GQ and Glamour debuted new video players on their sites, featuring original content that will also be distributed across the brands’ YouTube channels and available for tablet and mobile devices. And so far, the series appear to be a big improvement on the usual magazine fare.
GQ’s series are mainly comprised of male-targeted lifestyle content. There’s The Ten, featuring the 10 items that guys like Rocco DiSpirito and Andy Cohen “can’t live without;” Jogging with James, in which “stylish adventurer-entrepreneur James Marshall” and his famous friends prepare for a marathon, mostly by discussing personal style; Car Collectors, where celebrities get the chance show off their expensive toys; and the fitness-focused Fighting Weight.
Glamour’s Web series are, fittingly, more style- and relationship-oriented. Fashion Week Ride-Along with Cindi Leive—the most narrative of the series—gives a surprisingly intimate look at the life of the magazine’s editor in chief, both at home with her husband and kids and at fashion events. There’s also Elevator Makeover, which features a hair and makeup expert doing an ambush makeover on an unsuspecting elevator occupant; Glamour Dos & Don’ts of the Week; and Why Do Guys…, in which comedians interview men to find out what they “really think about dating and sex.”
The influence of the entertainment group is apparent in the high production level of the series, especially when compared to the magazines’ pre-CNE offerings. (Existing Glamour and GQ content, like cover shoot B-roll and older Web series, has also been pulled into the video players.) There is a Webbish quality to most of the series, thanks to their quick—most run around four minutes—service-oriented format, but instead of feeling like the work of print editors without real video experience, the content is both polished and professional.
Led by former CW president Ostroff, CNE has bulked up on digital video savvy executives over the past year, hiring Vevo founding executive Fred Santarpia as evp and chief digital officer and installing Robert Green, an executive producer at HuffPo Live, as the group’s svp of creative, digital. Meanwhile, Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg made the trip to CES in Las Vegas to drum up interest in the company’s forthcoming digital offerings.
The video rollouts are being sponsored by Procter & Gamble, Microsoft and Mondelez International. At launch time, both GQ’s and Glamour’s series already have several episodes in the bank, and they will continue to release new episodes weekly.