Whither Condé Nast Digital? It was once was the epicenter of Condé Nast’s digital activity. Under president Sarah Chubb, it was busy launching destination sites that were at the core of its Web strategy and more recently, creating iPad editions for some of the company’s biggest titles, GQ, Glamour and Vanity Fair.
Now, changes have led some to wonder about Condé Nast Digital’s future at the company. In the past few years Condé Nast’s magazines have created and taken ownership of same-named Web sites, while the destination sites failed to take off in a big way. Only one, Epicurious.com, developed a strong identity (its monthly unique visitors approach 2 million, per Compete.com). Another, Men.Style, stopped operating as a standalone with the launch of GQ.com.
And Monday, Condé Nast Digital lost oversight for destination site Style.com when it was moved into the Fairchild Fashion Group, Condé Nast’s b-to-b unit. In a separate development, the company said from now on, magazine digital replicas would be created using Adobe’s software tools, putting all titles on the path forged by Wired and The New Yorker. The three brands for which Condé Nast Digital developed iPad versions will be recreated using Adobe tools.
A rep for Condé Nast said the day’s moves were unrelated. Moving Style.com to Fairchild completes the unit’s fashion assets and provides a way to maximize growth opportunities there, the company said in an announcement. In the case of the Adobe development, the rep said, “This allows them to focus on nonmagazine development, and that will continue.”
Condé Nast Digital still oversees the aforementioned Epicurious, as well as sites for Brides, Concierge, Wired, Reddit and Ars Technica. But word is that Concierge will be folded into the as-yet-launched online counterpart to Condé Nast Traveler. And its advertising oversight could also change if the company brings that function under the Condé Nast Media Group, a shift insiders believe is imminent.
The company rep had no comment on the possibility of either.