Condé Nast International Launches Vogue Business
Vogue is launching Vogue Business, which will be a digital-only publication aimed at fashion industry professionals. Vogue Business will cater to professionals in the fashion, beauty and luxury industries. It is online-only and will be free initially, with a plan to potentially start charging later this year. The latest move by magazine group Condé Nast to find new sources of revenue in a challenging publishing market.
The project has been in the works for a year, after Condé Nast International last summer started testing appetite with a newsletter. “In a consolidating media landscape, the launch of a new global title is a rare thing,” said Wolfgang Blau, president of Condé Nast International, who has led the project. Mr Blau joined the company as chief digital officer in 2015 and is now second-in-command at CNI to Jonathan Newhouse, scion of the billionaire Newhouse family that owns the group.
The debut of a business-focused Vogue comes as Condé Nast is going through a sweeping restructuring, ousting its US chief executive in November and merging its US and international businesses. The changes are aimed at making the group more nimble as publishers globally search for new revenue streams amid a deteriorating circulation and print advertising picture. Last week the company said it would charge for access to all its websites in the US market, which “has the very large audiences needed to make paywalls work”. Mr Blau said there were no imminent plans to do so in the rest of the world. Instead, the hope is that ventures such as Vogue Business will be worth paying for among global fashion executives, or it will spawn other income. “My assumption is B2B-type content is your best bet for paid content models,” said
Mr Blau, adding that he was also interested in “adjacent services”, such as research and consulting. Vogue Business will start primarily as a newsletter, published twice a week and edited by Lauren Indvik, former editor-in-chief of Fashionista.com. There are 21 employees working on the venture, including six writers. CNI began testing a newsletter under the title Perspective last June. Since then the newsletter has attracted 7,500 subscribers. Like other publishers, it is trying to adjust to tumbling print advertising revenues. In the US the company has put up for sale three of its magazine titles — Brides, W and Golf Digest. The US group lost around $120m in 2017 but expects to break even this year, according to people with knowledge of its finances.