If any TV networks still wonder where some of their younger viewers have migrated, they needn’t look farther than Condé Nast. The publisher provided a fresh reminder of this reality during the Digital Content NewFronts by announcing 65 series renewals plus more than 40 new series.
Best known for 22 brands ranging from Bon Appétit to Wired, Condé Nast’s prodigious programming output aims to attract Generation Z and Milliennials.
“All of it has to be premium for us. Has to be unexpected,” says Dawn Ostroff, President of Condé Nast Entertainment, in this interview with Beet.TV.
The company isn’t shying away from sensitive subject matter, as evidenced by two new documentary series. Directed by Morgan Spurlock, Generation US will chronicle “this great divide” among Americans, according to Ostroff. The purpose is to find common threads and differences across the country and see how people are “dealing with their lives.”
On the more dramatic side is the new series Through The Fire, directed by Rod Blackhurst, which documents the events that unfolded when 19 firefighters perished during a 2013 wildfire in Yarnell, AZ. The same event will also be the subject of a film from Condé Nast Entertainment, to be released this fall around the same time as the series, as Variety reports.
“It’s a very, very moving documentary series,” says Ostroff. “There will be a way for clients to participate in that project because it’s about true heroes. It’s about wonderful Americans. I think it’s a story that a lot of our clients will relate to in many ways.”
What drives comparisons to network TV are the sizeable audiences drawn to digital video. “When you look at the numbers we get for some of the episodes of our series, it really is an apples to apples comparison,” Ostroff says. “And then you look at the demographics of those episodes and see they are Gen Zers and young Millennials and you start to understand this is where a lot of those people have migrated.”
Another trend Ostroff observes is a rise in the quality of short-form video content. “Everybody doesn’t have six hours on a Saturday to watch but they’ll watch things during the week. It’s just in different bites.” The challenge is to make quality content that speaks to these viewers and “fits their needs, fits their moods, fits what they’re looking for.”
This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.