Magazines in digital transformation

Digitization 10/25/2018
Reading time: 2 minute(s)

An interview with Fedele Usai, CEO Condé Nast Italy

Falling circulation figures, lower earnings from advertising revenue, more and more readers migrating to digital media: the international magazine industry is in the throes of economic decline. Publishers are feverishly searching for new sources of revenue. Vontobel talks to a manager who is pointing the way forward.

Fedele Usai, CEO Condé Nast Italia


The American publishing firm Condé Nast is one of the largest privately owned publishers in the world. With its iconic magazines such as Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest or Wired, it is the leader of the international luxury segment of printed glossy magazines. In 25 countries worldwide, Condé Nast publishes more than 135 titles.

An industry is looking for new directions

For many years, the industry has been suffering massive economic losses. Fewer and fewer customers go to the newsstand each week to buy a magazine. With the decline in circulation figures, prestigious and business-savvy advertisers are gradually reducing their print media investments, increasingly redeploying their budgets into digital media. What can publishers do to keep their two clienteles – readers and advertisers – onboard? They need to exploit the star quality of their brands to generate new revenue streams.

360 degrees of luxury

Fedele Usai, CEO of Condé Nast Italy, is one of the modern thought leaders in the international magazine business. Unlike many of his colleagues in the company's management, he does not come from the publishing business but was previously the head of a major advertising agency. That is to say: Fedele Usai knows the value of brands.

For Condé Nast, he is now breaking new ground in marketing. His watchwords for the future are:

  1. Recognize and evaluate the value of your brand
  2. Create a fascination for your brand and exploit it
  3. Rely on your brand core to generate first-class content
  4. Reach your customer in new, unfamiliar places
  5. Develop a 360-degree strategy for your content – analogue as well as digital
     

The future of Vogue & Co.

In our video interview with Fedele Usai, learn how he sees the future of glossy magazines à la Vogue, GQ or Vanity Fair – and about the opportunities that digital transformation offers.

About Fedele Usai

Fedele Usai worked in Italy as a manager for advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett and TBWA, as well as for the car maker Fiat. In 2011 he moved to the magazine publisher Condé Nast, and has been CEO and Managing Director of Condé Nast Italia since September 2017.

How much are algorithms, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence determining how we live our lives today, and much more will they do so tomorrow? Mathematicians, researchers, philosophers – and each one of us, in fact – seek answers. This interview with Fedele Usai is one of many contributions that shed light on the theme "Digitized Society" from a new, inspiring perspective. We are publishing them here as part of our series "Impact".