Glossy mags are losing their sparkle — Condé Nast sells 3 magazines after losing $120m

After struggling to adapt to a changing media landscape, Condé Nast sold off 3 of its underperforming print magazines to make up for declining revenue.

August 3, 2018

Condé Nast, the powerhouse publisher behind mega-mags like The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Vogue, is selling off 3 of its magazines after posting over $120m in losses last year.

Instagram killed the magazine star

The rise of social media has lured magazine readers away from print and into the black hole that is Instagram. 

In 2017 Condé Nast’s biggest magazine was Glamour, with 2.9m subscribers. To put that in perspective, actress Selena Gomez has over 133m followers on Instagram — more than 46x as many committed viewers as Conde’s biggest magazine.

So Condé, which reaches just 164m consumers across all 14 of its magazines, is ditching underperforming Brides, Golf Digest, and W to trim the fat.

I miss the old Condé, straight off the press Condé

These days, the old dogs have to learn new tricks to woo the social media masses. Case in point: Time recently launched a streaming TV program called ‘Paws and Claws,’ featuring viral animal videos.

But the 109-year-old Condé Nast magazine empire is trying to keep things highbrow, doubling down on its most iconic brands like The New Yorker and Bon Appétit.

And, since most of Condé’s $120m in losses came from declining print ad sales (which declined 20% last year), Nasty-Nast is also investing in digital. The company spent $500m on a data-analytics company in 2015 and plans to roll out more short-form videos to — dare we say — snap up more viewers.

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