On Monday, following years of industry rumors that it would fold to go all-digital, Condé Nast announced that it has made an investment in Teen Vogue's "digital, video and social content," and that it will reduce its print issue to a quarterly format. According to a statement from the company, "the new frequency is designed to capture key audience moments relevant to young readers lives," and the new print edition will debut in spring 2017 as a larger book with a collectible, "keepsake" feel.
It's no secret that Condé Nast has been frantically trying to adapt to the digital age — and to decreasing newsstand and ad page sales — over the last couple of years. In 2015, it reduced the frequency of Lucky magazine's print edition to quarterly before eventually folding it (and its digital arm, LuckyShops.com); the publishing house also shuttered men's fashion title Details last November, with its online arm transitioning to GQStyle.com.
In addition, Condé Nast has made a concerted effort to restructure its brands in order to maximize efficiency: The company has "aligned" Teen Vogue with Vogue by combining its ad sales teams under Vogue publisher Susan Plagemann, combined the business and operational teams of Self and Glamour, and recently reported that it would begin sharing resources across its brands in the fields of copy/research, editorial, creative, business and technology. Finally, there have been several high-level editorial switch-ups at major titles, including EIC Amy Astley's move from Teen Vogue to Architectural Digest — a move that hinted to trouble at the publication within industry circles.
To help drive sales for the website, Amy Oelkers, the former executive head of digital sales for Teen Vogue, has been promoted to the publication's head of revenue. "Amy brings an innovative digital-first approach to connecting our advertising partners to Teen Vogue's audience of highly influential millennials," said Jim Norton, chief business officer and president of revenue for Condé Nast, in a statement. "Investing in Teen Vogue's digital, video and social content, and creating collectible print editions will better engage our audience where and how they consume our content." Elaine Welteroth will retain her title as editor.
Teen Vogue's traffic has been on the up (it's more than doubled over the past year), and while its transition to a digital-first publication is a savvy — and likely profitable — move, we doubt that this is the last we'll hear of changes at the title in the months ahead. Watch this space.