By Jeanine Poggi

It isn’t exactly a new strategy for digital publishers to position themselves as TV replacements during the NewFronts. But Condé Nast is making the most direct push so far to take on traditional during this week’s NewFronts, introducing new ad products that package its premium inventory, and a deal with Nielsen to measure its content.

“We are the new Thursday night and we are always on,” Pamela Drucker Mann, chief revenue and marketing officer, said during Condé’s presentation at Mercado Little Spain in New York City on Tuesday afternoon.

Condé Nast is expanding its so-called Prime ad product, packaging inventory from its higher-performing series across its entire footprint, including on YouTube and its newer over-the-top platforms. It’s similar to Google’s Preferred offering, with the goal of connecting marketers to its top-performing videos in an effort to generate more viewership and longer watch times.

And to combat ad-skipping and ad-avoidance that are rising thanks to the popularity of commercial-free platforms like Netflix, Condé Nast is opening up its most popular series for brand integrations. Condé Nast Prime Placement is backed with guaranteed views and third-party measurement, Drucker Mann said.

Condé Nast is eager to differentiate itself from digital publishers that have been saddled with brand-safety issues. Drucker Mann talked up its partnership with YouTube even while acknowledging that “I know YouTube can sometimes be a little tricky.” But Condé Nast is a different sort of YouTube publisher, she insists, because it creates and controls all of the content, making it brand-safe.

Condé Nast’s NewFront comes less than a month after former Pandora and Dish Network executive Roger Lynch was brought on as CEO.

The company plans to roll out 175 pilots this year, and Oren Katzeff, who last November replaced Dawn Ostroff as president of Condé Nast Entertainment, stressed Condé’s focus on long-form content.

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Via:: Ad Age B to B