Watch or Read? Magazines Offering Digital Video Content

Condé Nast announced the addition of more than 30 new online video series to accompany some of its flagship magazines last week. See how one association is also incorporating video as part of its magazine content.

For anyone wishing they could get more from their print magazines, some well-known consumer magazine brands are creating content that you can watch instead of read.

Condé Nast, the publisher behind magazines such as Wired, Vogue, and GQ, announced last week it will add 30 new digital video series to its online programming network.

The New York Times reported that at the second annual Digital Content NewFront presentations, which showcase digital video content and corresponding advertising opportunities, Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE) presented previews of several shows set to debut later this year as well as a few clips of shows that have already started running, including Glamour’s “Elevator Makeover.”

“We are offering advertisers a unique proposition—premium content released daily, broad distribution, and tremendous marketing support,” Fred Santarpia, CNE executive vice president and chief digital officer, said in a statement.

Other Condé Nast titles that will release videos in 2013 include Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Epicurious, and, according to the Times, which also reported that Condé Nast President Robert A. Sauerberg Jr. emphasized the new video ventures are not meant to replace the company’s print products.

“Our company is founded in print,” Sauerberg said. “This is an extension of what we are doing. We see this as a new business that is not in lieu of but in addition to.”

Bolstering print content with video is an approach some association publications have also tried, though not on the same scale as large consumer publications.

A company like Condé Nast has the resources  “to put against video production, which is extremely labor intensive and can be expensive,” said Harry Goldstein, editorial director, digital, at IEEE Spectrum magazine, which has been experimenting with video and other multimedia elements since 2007.

IEEE Spectrum, for example, produces a fairly low-cost series of videos in which editors interview researchers or engineers via Skype or Google+ Hangouts, incorporating graphics and images.

In addition to video, the magazine incorporates podcasts and slideshows to supplement print and blog content.

Whether trying to demonstrate a do-it-yourself project (like creating an electronic derailleur for a hybrid bicycle) or interviewing an engineering and computer science professor about hacking into pacemakers, “we try to find the most appropriate way to tell the story,” Goldstein said.

He added that publications don’t necessarily need to worry about production value when it comes to online videos: “If there’s something to see, if there’s something to explain, and if video can tell that story, worry less about production values themselves than the content, because that’s what people are going to be looking at.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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