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Condé Nast will formally rely on Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) tools when it comes to crafting its digital magazine replicas, after dividing duties between the software company and its in-house team at Condé Nast Digital. The decision, announced by Bob Sauerberg, Condé Nast’s president, comes on the heels of five new app releases. Although there is “ongoing R&D,” the change marks the completion its initial wave of experiments with mobile apps. It also comes as Condé Nast has been making some changes following two high-profile hires on its technology and marketing sides.
Before the Adobe-related news, Condé Nast also said it would be handing over responsibilities for its Style.com site to Fairchild Fashion Group, its Advance Publications’ sibling.
Yet another reorg?: While Condé Nast has appeared to be in the midst of yet another overhaul this past month, the changes being announced at the end of this month actually look like more of a refinement, as opposed to a wholesale change in strategy.
To begin with, earlier this summer, publishing industry observers were wondering about a competition between Condé Nast Digital, the umbrella unit for all the publisher’s online properties, and Adobe, which has produced the app version of Wired and is now working on a similar treatment for the New Yorker. While Condé Nast Digital had begun work on the recently launched app for The New Yorker, that project was handed to Adobe since Condé Nast Digital has already been prepping Glamour’s September app issue for an August release.
Plus, Condé Nast Digital had its hands pretty full with continuing work on GQ, Vanity Fair and Epicurious apps.
Incidentally, while Adobe will add its technology to all the magazine apps — including do-overs for GQ and VF — Condé Nast Digital will continue to handle non-magazine apps like Epicurious, a rep told paidContent, adding that the magazines’ designers and editors will be using the Adobe tools as part of their work on the digital replicas.
It all reflects some of the recent changes that have occurred since Sauerberg was promoted to president of Condé Nast from group president, consumer marketing, after Condé Nast vet David Carey left to join Hearst Magazines this summer. Furthermore, it will also herald the introduction of two long-awaited additions over the past month.
New arrivals: The most recent was Monica Ray, who departed Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) as its point person on paid content in August to become EVP for consumer marketing at Condé Nast at the end of September.
And in the middle of last month, Viacom (NYSE: VIA) CTO Joe Simon took his same job title to Condé Nast, where he will take a lead role in managing the publisher’s approach to tablets and other e-reader devices. Simon’s jump to Condé Nast was delayed due to a lawsuit Viacom filed against him possible violations of his non-compete agreement.
Simon’s role is a new one for the publisher, since the closest position Condé Nast previously had was that of “head IT guy.” In hiring Simon, Condé Nast expects to be able to dive even more aggressively into mobile and tablets with someone who can tie tech tools and content together.
With the expected announcement regarding the company’s marketing shifts surrounding Condé Nast Digital coming this week, details of which were first reported by the NY Post earlier this month, there will be more responsibility for the individual magazines in terms of managing their web ad sales.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Condé Nast Digital’s responsibilities diminish. Among other things, it will continue to be in charge of big picture thinking for operations, such as online inventory management and pricing.