March 14, 2019
Condé Nast shelter publication Architectural Digest is launching a new members-only platform, as the media group looks to further engage professionals after planning to put the majority of its content behind a paywall.
Geared towards design industry professionals, AD Pro will launch in April and include exclusive news, trade tools and services, as well as access to special events. Industry-oriented features include profiles, a job board and a calendar of trade events.
“There's a void in the marketplace for this type of business-to-business service,” said Amy Astley, editor in chief of Architectural Digest. “We created a utility the design industry needs.”
In January, Condé Nast announced that it plans to expand its paywall strategy to its entire portfolio of U.S. brands. After seeing success with metered paywalls for three of its titles, Condé Nast anticipates that readers will be willing to pay for the digital extensions of all of its brands, including Vogue and Architectural Digest (see story).
An AD Pro subscription will cost $240 a year or $25 a month, and include delivery of Architectural Digest print issues. U.S. luxury appliance manufacturer Dacor is the platform’s founding sponsor.
In addition to covering national and international industry news, AD Pro will also have a regional aspect and cover the design markets in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.
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This daily coverage will be supplemented by weekly design alerts as well as more in-depth quarterly trend reports.
Architectural Digest is also making the entirety of its archive available digitally to AD Pro subscribers. Nearly a century’s worth of issues will be viewable as an online magazine, allowing industry insiders to use the content for either research or inspirational purposes.
Design professionals will also have opportunities to engage with Architectural Digest offline.
Subscribers will have access to the brand’s events, including its new AD Pro Work/Shop series. These in-market seminars, panel discussions and shoppable events will allow designers to network and source products.
Emphasizing the platform’s professional origins, AD Pro will also include a portal to post and apply for employment opportunities. A daily calendar of design and trade events also encourages further networking and professional growth.
Back to business
After backing off from business-to-business publishing mid-decade, Condé Nast International is looking to get back into the B2B category.
As the advantages of having both business- and consumer-facing sources of information crystallized, CNI launched its latest fashion business effort, titled Vogue Business, in January.
Vogue Business uses the well-known name of Vogue to help strengthen the brand of its new editorial endeavor. The new publication has taken a different approach to launch, starting with a print newsletter and moving to a digital Web site after gauging feedback from readers (see story).
Condé Nast’s British GQ publication is also tapping into experiential offerings with a three-day conference that focuses on business and luxury.
The new conference concept is aimed at CEOs and other top executives in the luxury field. While Condé Nast has an existing luxury conference, GQ aims to craft its own audience, focusing on an itinerary that centers on an entertaining atmosphere and the chance to mingle with top executives and celebrities (see story).
AD Pro is a continuation of Condé Nast’s recent business-focused efforts.
“There isn't another resource that offers the level of in-depth reporting, access and information sharing that AD Pro does,” Ms. Astley said. “By combining key content with utility, we're providing members of the design community with tools that are instrumental to their careers.”