By Matt Borkowski
As society moves from one standard of communication to another, Condé Nast sits poised to remain a constant in the world of publishing and in the city of New York for years to come.
The publishing giant, whose roster includes magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, and The New Yorker, has created a lot of noise in the past few months with two major developments. In May, Condé Nast an- nounced their commitment to move their global headquarters from its current location in Times Square to the new World Trade Center (WTC), and in July they stated their intent to reinvent digital publishing by part- nering with graphics and analytics powerhouse, Adobe.
By signing a twenty-five year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Condé Nast is set to occupy roughly a third of the new One World Trade Center building, dubbed “Freedom Tower.” The move is bold, especially considering how well the company was received in their current neighborhood. Condé Nast moved to Times Square in 1999, when the surrounding area was in the middle of a renaissance of sorts, with high-end retailers and commercial developers flocking to the once seedy underbelly of “tourist New York.” New York and New Jersey officials, including Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, see the move as an extremely positive sign that Lower Manhattan has revitalized after the devastating attacks of 9/11 and is open for business once again.
Seemingly in stride with Condé Nast’s forward-thinking relocation, the company has partnered with software titan Adobe to define and set new industry standards for digital publishing. After a somewhat underwhelm- ing initial response to the iPad’s version of GQ, Condé has seen an acute shift in their subscribers’ desire to consume content “on the go.” The company noted that in a six-week period following the implementation of “in-app” purchases for their publications, they had gained over 240,000 new digital subscribers, while 136,000 current print subscribers had opted to either add or switch to the digital editions.
Enter Adobe. The Silicon Valley-based tech powerhouse spent time with Condé Nast researching and studying consumer behavior in relation to digital publishing and tablet PC use. Scott McDonald, senior vice presi- dent of research and insights at Condé Nast had this to say: “Though it’s still early, our data suggests that reading behaviors with digital edition seem to closely follow those associated with printed magazines.” The re- sults of their studies seem to have begun to pay dividends, as Condé Nast and Adobe plan to implement their new metrics into their digital editions beginning in this fall.
With their data in hand, a solid partner in Adobe, and a new lease signed in New York, Condé Nast has seemingly done everything that they can to remain a publishing forerunner in a world where digital is the new king.
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