Condé Nast Invests in Digital Advertising Company Flite
Condé Nast, the high-end magazine publisher, will announce on Monday that it is joining the cloud.
The company will go from being a client of the digital advertising company Flite to owning about 11 percent of it. Flite provides cloud-based advertising technology that allows marketers to change the text and images of digital ads in real time.
Though the investment may seem unusual — technology companies, not magazine publishers, are the primary drivers of cloud computing — Robert A. Sauerberg, president of Condé Nast, said it represented an aggressive strategy.
“We’re going to need a more scalable, more robust set of digital offerings that meet our consumers’ and marketers’ needs,” Mr. Sauerberg said. “We are actively, at Condé Nast, looking at a variety of targets to accomplish this strategy.”
Josh Stinchcomb, vice president for corporate partnerships at Condé Nast, said Flite’s technology allowed the company to provide more creative and customized options for advertisers online.
“We do a lot of custom advertising work for our clients,” he said. “I think we’re always trying to find that balance between design flexibility and standardization.”
The technology will allow advertisers to see which ads perform better than others and what types of images or messages are most popular with users. If an ad includes a photo gallery, for instance, the advertiser can move the image that has received the most clicks or comments to the beginning of the gallery.
Will Price, chief executive of Flite, said the technology gave digital advertising a wider creative scope and, presumably, higher ad rates. “These ads are essentially mini Web pages,” Mr. Price said.
Mr. Stinchcomb said, “The goal is getting consumers to engage with this content.”
The investment in Flite is one of several deals Condé Nast has made recently. The company has also invested in Trigger Media, which helps create digital media companies and products, and Moda Operandi, a fashion Web site. In April, the company acquired ZipList, a digital and mobile shopping list and recipe service.
“We’re thinking about the equity structure with every opportunity that hits our desk,” Mr. Sauerberg said.