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Condé Nast: more paywalls are ‘highly likely’

Fred Santarpia, Condé Nast’s chief digital officer, joined Digiday+ members to talk about the publishing giant’s paywall strategy, its plans to push further into e-commerce and why publishers should work together more and “have some fun.” Lightly edited excerpts appear below.

Here are Santarpia’s views on:

Paywalls
“I think [more paywalls for Condé Nast titles] are highly likely. We believe much of what we do at Condé Nast is highly differentiated and worth paying for in different models. … I think the ‘pivot to paywalls’ is coming back because there is a resurgence in the value attributed to quality journalism. I think the volatility in the political landscape has really pushed that, and people are looking for ‘trusted’ sources. It also is not easy living on advertising alone, as many media companies are realizing.”

Distributed content
“The web is a fragmented place. We aren’t going to be able to change the physics of the web, so I fully expect we will continue to explore native content experiences on many different platforms, without over-reliance on any of them. It’s much easier to go where the consumer is than to force them to come to you. That said, the more we are investing in deep storytelling and journalism, the more users will naturally seek out our brands on our owned properties as well.”

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