As The Guardian reported late February, French firm LVMH's online magazine promises to blur the lines between
editorial and promotional content some more but in a "beautiful" way!
In a move likely to provoke more debate on church/state separation in
the publishing world, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) enlisted
digital commerce company CreateThe Group to create and
position Nowness as an "information reference" – a place for
users to experience "moments of inspiration" and "experience
the luxury lifestyle online."
Until now, the printed
Acne magazine, from the epnymous Swedish clothing label, was the only prominent example of a distinguished yet
high-end fashion magazine produced by a brand/advertiser. Nowness will hope to be seen as its online
equivalent. The digital magazine Nowness had been in teaser mode since LVMH shut down its
online store, eLuxury.com, and switched the site to the new name and
Nowness.com, currently only available in English, boasts a simple, minimalist design
and features mostly a daily multimedia story. So far, as on many luxury sites, the interactivity is not a
free-for-all, but relatively controlled. Visitors can’t leave comments,
but they can vote “like” or “don’t like” on each presentation, and the
site will direct a visitor to similar or different content from the
archive. A navigator called the “Explorer” groups random titles from the
archive by color and size to graphically represent their popularity.
ranges from art, fashion and photography to architecture to design, and
will be created and curated by an international team of contributors and
editors. LVMH said: "Nowness is a brand of the luxury group LVMH, but
the content is editorially independent."
The site has been getting about 10 000 visitors a month (according to WWD), although the company expects more after the full launch. The site has
several thousand fans on Twitter and Facebook already, and a database of 300 000
members who have registered on the site. Eventually, Nowness
will think about revenue and advertising, as well as content
partnerships with brands, “as soon as traffic is high enough to be
interesting to potential partners,” as Kamel Ouadi, Digital EVP for Nowness explained to WWD in a recent interview. According to him, the site wants to work
with luxury brands outside the LVMH family. I can't imagine competitve brands rushing to advertise on the site personally, but that's just me.