Although magazines are getting a breather from the ad recovery, the realization that marketers’ spending isn’t going to make a full comeback is pushing publishers into arrangements they steadfastly avoided in the recent past. Case in point: Condé Nast’s Glamour, though one of its biggest attractions to advertisers, is now looking to leverage the brand as a licensing vehicle to help boost revenues. It’s struck a licensing deal with IAC’s Match.com to create a dating service, Glamour Matchmaker, which is part of an overall plan for the magazine to extend itself into book-publishing through a deal with Hyperion. Jewelry making and style consulting are also included in Glamour’s larger set of offerings.
A year ago, Condé Nast execs tell the WSJ, the deal with IAC (NSDQ: IACI) wouldn’t have gotten a second thought. Even in the depths of the recession, the notion that anything going beyond the pure magazine experience was considered anathema, for fear that it would dilute the brand.
But the significant declines in advertising changed that view, especially as social shopping sites emerged and demonstrated how these add-on services could continue to attract and retain both readers and advertisers. In fact, Glamour was one of the first Condé Nast titles to get into affiliate sales by working with ShopStyle.
Next up, Glamour will begin marketing its own line of jewelry with former IAC unit HSN (NSDQ: HSNI), making it the first magazine to feature its own products on the cable network. The jewelry will be sold on the channel starting in August, and will get a big promotional tie-in with the September issue — along with its first iPad edition — that hits stands that month.