Seems like Condé Nast may finally be focused on making money from its digital properties. Just days after the company announced that it will start offering GQ issues for $2.99 a piece on the iPhone, Conde is unleashing a new “sales structure.” Digital now has a new publisher in charge of all revenue for their 26 Web properties. He’s Josh Stinchcomb, who was in charge of ad sales as the former executive director of Condé Nast Digital Business Group. He joined in 1996, and has spent most of his career working for Wired.com. Now he’ll be overseeing all Web revenue.
In an interview with the Observer, Mr. Stinchcomb told the Observer he has worked for Wired.com from 1996 to 2001. He left for business school and worked in finance before returning to Conde Nast in 2004. He said Wired.com was successful in figuring out what worked on the Web for the magazine’s readers, and he hopes to continue fostering the communities that build around titles into more cohesive Web sites. “The [Wired] editors really understand what is means to be in a magazine and what means to be online,” he said.
He’s also hoping to borrow pay models pioneered by sites like Ars Technica, Conde Nast Digital’s niche tech trends site, which offers a paid premium membership. Users pay $50 a year and get an upgraded package with access to exclusive content, databases, live online chats with editors and industry leaders and more. Paying users see ad-free pages on the site and even have a say in the editorial process to steer reporting and topics–almost like becoming a shareholder in Ars.
He also sees more e-commerce, and paid and free mobile applications and digital issues coming for titles across the company.
We’ve been tlaking about as more investment int eh indivual brands in teh indivuals site, teh oportunity were becing more rodbubts we wnted to be set yup in a way that took adveantage of that. seeliong teh print in a more seeamlessway, a natural evolutions.m the brands were.
Mr. Stinchcomb admitted that he is more familiar with the male-focused “tech business space” and is still learning about the women’s sites like Glamour.com and Style.com. “The fashion media world is a new one,” he said. “I’ve been asking my wife a lot of questions, for one. It’s a new world.”
Mr. Stinchcomb will have to play catch-up fast, since he’s in charge of making money for not just those “male-focused” sites, but all 26 of Conde Nast’s digital sites.
Drew Schutte, senior vice president and chief revenue officer, made announced in a press statement, along with an explanation of his new “sales structure,” in which three advertising directors will be responsible for specific brands and will report directly to Mr. Stinchcomb. “Each of Condé Nast Digital’s 26 online brands will now fall into one of the five categories, which are fashion and beauty; food, well-being and travel; bridal; technology; and culture and thought leader,” according to the press statement. Thought leader!
“The improved sales structure allows for more focus on the individual brands as they grow, while leveraging the scale of all 26 sites,” said Mr. Schutte in the statement. “This offers increased flexibility for our advertisers to reach our engaged audience of nearly 50 million unique users per month in a multitude of new ways. The new structure also allows for seamless coordination with our print sellers, as we meet the increased demand for cross-channel selling.”