If anyone needed further evidence that magazines were in a desperate search for revenue, Business of Fashion is reporting that brands can pay to get themselves featured in Vogue Runway’s online index – for the low, low price of $20,000 a year.
“Joining Vogue Runway’s index of designers and brands is seen in the industry as a stamp of legitimacy, dating back to its origins as part of Style.com in 2000,” the story said. But, as BoF discovered, for the last three years, brands have been able to buy their way into that club.
If a designer or brand makes it through the editor approval process, and has the aforementioned $20,000, “[they] can have their lookbook or collection images uploaded to Vogue’s Runway website and app twice annually, according to a term sheet reviewed by BoF.” And, there’s no distinction between those that pay and those that don’t for readers.
While it’s “unclear how many designers have taken Vogue up on its offer,” BoF did note that parent company Condé Nast is “seeking new ways to generate revenue… following heavy losses in 2017.”
And though BoF reported that brands cannot pay to “have their collections reviewed or covered editorially elsewhere on the Runway vertical,” the revelation still signals a significant shift in how the editorial side of the industry — and the magazine industry in general — is beginning to operate.
No longer are they the semi-partial bastions of taste, hindered only by advertisers. Now, their paid content is vertically integrated into the product, literally indiscernible from the rest. But then again, it probably makes sense. When you’re the rainmaker, you might as well make it rain.
You can read more about it at Business of Fashion.