Conde Nast turns to subscription model for Vogue and GQ as ad revenue falls

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 24 January 2019

Condé Nast US is putting all its titles behind a paywall by the end of the year, as publications continue to struggle to survive on advertising alone.

Vogue, GQ and Glamour will all join other titles, such as the New Yorker, behind a paywall, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal today.

It's a sign of the increasing pressure placed on traditional media companies as ad dollars are funnelled away to digital platforms.

In 2017, the US business lost $120 million and announced plans to sell three of its magazines; Brides, Golf Digest and W to cover the losses, however the sales are yet to be confirmed.

The company hopes turning to a subscription model will help it return to profitability by 2020.

Conde Nast chief Bob Sauerberg predicts it will rely on advertising for only half its revenue by the end of 2022, down from 70% last year.

The British arm of the publication is also struggling and reported a loss £14 million loss in 2017, its first since 1995.

Vogue Australia spoke to AdNews last year about the need for magazines to diversify, including entering the experiential market, to survive.

News Corp Australia, the publisher of Vogue and GQ locally, has told AdNews it is exploring a subscription model.

“Growing digital subscriptions is a key pillar of News Corp Australia’s strategy,” Prestige Titles MD Nicholas Gray said.

“We will work with our licensor, Conde Nast International, to determine the appropriate Australian application of this strategy.”

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