Condé Nast inks deal with TikTok to monetize exclusive content

tiktok captured users

Vogue and GQ will make content exclusively for TikTok, both for their own respective brand channels and in print, under a new deal Condé Nast signed with the social media platform. Neither company gave exact terms of the deal, including the financial agreement.

The deal includes a variety of content formats — mostly around Fashion Month, as well as style and shopping — such as live streams, hashtag challenges and short-form video series produced by Condé Nast’s editorial teams and social content creators.

The sales teams of Condé Nast and TikTok will work together to secure deals with advertisers for that content, according to Bree McKenney, svp of global commercial marketing, creative and production at Condé Nast. What exactly the publisher and platform will be pitching advertisers is “still in the early stages” of development, though, said Harish Sarma, TikTok’s global head of content business development.

The initial sales focus, per both companies, will be on securing sponsorships for live events, such as a live stream of a host getting ready for a big event. These can provide opportunities for beauty, tech or fashion product integrations, McKenney said.

This news comes after TikTok announced in November it had signed a year-long deal with BuzzFeed to premiere multiple live video series on the social media platform. It marked the first time TikTok worked with a media company to sell sponsorships against weekly live shows on the platform (TikTok is securing sponsors for BuzzFeed’s shows in that deal, starting out with product placement opportunities with advertisers like home appliance brand Cyetus). BuzzFeed has declined to say how much it has made off the partnership. The deal effectively serves as a pilot program for publishers to generate direct revenue on the platform.

“The parties will share in the campaigns sold to clients,” McKenney said in regards to the Condé Nast deal, adding that TikTok is “interested in working with [Condé Nast] to reach GQ and Vogue’s luxury advertising base.” Both McKenney and Sarma declined to share details about the financial aspects of the deal, including how the two companies will share the revenue. More information on advertisers and branded programming opportunities will be presented at this year’s NewFronts, McKenney said.

Fashion, retail and luxury advertisers could be a fit for the Condé Nast content produced for TikTok, as well as CPG and tech brands, said Adam Puchalsky, global head of content at Wavemaker. This deal, he said, is a combination of the “modern interpretation of programming and entertainment with shows produced in consumable formats for the platform, with trusted voices like GQ and Vogue who have been around for generations. I think it’s really smart… I would love for our brands to be a part of that experience.”

Hashtag challenges, video and print production

The deal took effect earlier this month when Condé Nast began posting content to GQ’s and Vogue’s TikTok channels to coincide with Fashion Month. Both companies said branded content deals are under development and did not name confirmed partners.

Having launched their respective TikTok channels in late 2020, GQ and Vogue (which have amassed more than 410,000 and 675,000 followers, respectively), are taking TikTok viewers behind the scenes and backstage for Fashion Month, featuring editors, models and attendees. Vogue and GQ editors will also host live streams discussing notable moments on the runway from the back of their cabs, with opportunities for surprise guest appearances.

The publications are also producing video series for their TikTok channels. Vogue’s video series will include “Make It Vogue,” which will feature one new creator every month recreating a fashion trend with their own style, as well as “The Get,” which will bring Vogue’s shopping guide franchise to TikTok with editor product picks and styling tips. GQ’s video series will include “GQ Best New Menswear,” where GQ writers and editors will highlight the new styles that viewers should add to their closets, and “Personal Practice,” a @GQSports show featuring athletes’ wellness practices, among other shows.

GQ and Vogue will also have style and body positivity hashtag challenges, encouraging participation from TikTok users. Vogue’s first hashtag challenge on TikTok, #MakeItVogue, which invited users to share their own take on the classic bustle, has generated more than 3.6 billion views to date, according to Sarma.

Condé Nast and TikTok have also collaborated on four-page print inserts in the March issues of GQ and Vogue, on newsstands now. The inserts contain 18 perforated cards that readers can tear out and clip together to create a flipbook animation tied to the titles’ respective social video challenges on TikTok. The GQ one features singer-songwriter Conan Gray and the Vogue flipbook stars model and Muay Thai fighter Mia Kang.

More in Media

YouTube is under fire again, this time over child protection

Adalytics Research asks, ‘Are YouTube advertisers inadvertently harvesting data from millions of children?’

Illustration of a puzzle that spells out the word 'media.'

Media Briefing: Publishers pump up per-subscriber revenue amid ad revenue declines

Publishers’ Q2 earnings reveal digital advertising is still in a tight spot, but digital subscriptions are picking up steam.

Lessons for AI from the ad-tech era: ‘We’re living in a memory-less world’

Experts reflect how the failures of social media and online advertising can help the industry improve the next era of innovation.