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Conde Nast, 'Vogue' Tap Semmer As New Video Executive

Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue magazine named Robert Semmer in a newly created roleas vice president of video as the fashion magazine builds out its audience for streaming media.

He will be based in New York and report to Croi McNamara, senior vice president of programming for CNE, according to WWD.

Semmer previously was head of content for Premier Music Group, a music agency founded by industry executive Josh Deutsch. He also worked as head of content for music magazine The Fader and was a senior video director for Vice Media.

While Vogue already has a small team dedicated to video, Semmer will work to expand the magazine’s video audience, which includes 5 million subscribers on Google’s YouTube video-sharing site.

Vogue’s existing digital video series include 73 Questions, Beauty Secrets and Ask Anna with editor in chief Anna Wintour. The magazine said its video channels generated 2 billion views across all platforms last year.

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The magazine also has 23 million followers on Facebook-owned Instagram, which last year started a separate app called IGTV to showcase videos and to compete with YouTube.

The U.S. digital video ad market is forecast to grow 62% to $58.4 billion by 2023 from about $36 billion this year, according to researcher eMarketer. The researcher estimates that 235.1 million people watch online video, or 83% of internet users.

Vogue also produces coverage of the Met Gala, the annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute that has been dubbed “the Super Bowl of fashion.”

At last month’s event, Vogue featured a behind-the-scenes look at performer Lady Gaga getting ready for the event. The video was viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube.

A video of reality-TV star Kim Kardashian getting fitted in her dress was viewed 19.4 million times, while a video showing her half-sister Kylie Jenner’s preparations was viewed almost 12 million times.

The "pivot to video" trend that started among digital publishers in 2015 has gone through spasms of growth and sudden decline -- with many observers blaming Facebook for its rise and fall.

But the video market is just getting started, especially on mobile devices. The expansion of high-speed 5G wireless networks in the next few years will make it easy to download entire movies in a few seconds. That will help to fuel greater video consumption.

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