Condé Nast Entertainment—which produces about 5,000 unique premium videos each year—is testing programmatic ad sales in what could be a prelude to a big programmatic push in 2017. It’s a seemingly inevitable path for Condé Nast, having dived into video production just over three years ago for its 19 properties, from GQ to Glamour.
“Any eyeball in the U.S. that watches video has access to a Condé Nast video,” says Joy Marcus, EVP and GM of Digital Video, Condé Nast Entertainment.
Aside from its own platforms, Condé Nast distributes on all the obvious platforms, sometimes with non-obvious results. “We cannot believe it but it’s true. The AOL.com home page does really, really well for us and some of our brands,” Marcus says. “Most recently we’ve done an arrangement with Pinterest for GQ content, which is super interesting,” Marcus adds.
She believes we’re seeing a “hockey stick moment for video advertising,” rising from around $9 billion this year to between $20 billion and $23 billion in the next five years. One reason, according to Marcus, is that television is now growing in viewership “and lots and lots of money is still being thrown at TV. I think that video is incredibly well positioned to begin catching some of that money.”
With a direct-sales approach, Condé Nast sells out of its video inventory “and more,” Marcus observes, noting that the company has first sales right with almost all of its syndication partners. “That’s a model that we have really stuck to our guns with.”
Condé Nast already sells display ad space programmatically and is testing programmatic for its video inventory, according to Marcus. “I think you’re going to see a more full blown programmatic video program from Condé Nast in 2017,” she says.
In October, the company “planted a big stick in the ground with VR,” unveiling a series titled Invisible in collaboration with director Doug Liman and other Hollywood luminaries. “Our players now have been modified to include 360,” says Marcus. “We have exceeded our expectations in views.”