But like all publishers, it’s had to adjust as readers and advertisers migrate online, a theme that likely is the focus of the company’s latest visit by consultants. In a nod to the brutal price competition on the Web, the company has also broken with its longstanding tradition of not negotiating rates. The move to show flexibility on rates is also, unsurprisingly, a move that draws cheers from buyers, although it can also be seen as more depressing evidence of the vast commoditisation force digital is for all publishers.
“Condé Nast is off the rate card,” said Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen. “They’re willing to negotiate. I was having lunch with a Condé Nast publisher, and one of the first things he said was, ‘If price is an issue, we can talk about that.’ You never would have talked about that in the past.”
Another buyer, who asked to remain anonymous, put it more harshly, saying that at a time when the industry and market are “changing at neck-breaking speed,” Condé Nast is “consistently one step behind.”
“They are making all the right moves but not necessarily keeping pace to compete,” the buyer said, referring to the publisher’s deals to distribute its content on other platforms like Apple and Facebook. “We can buy these audiences more efficiently on other sites that have the scale and better targeting capabilities.”
More like this