Vox Media announced its own supply-side platform (SSP) for Concert, the company’s publisher-led marketplace, where the Trade Desk is also its exclusive demand-side platform (DSP) partner. With the launch of its own SSP, Concert will be easier than ever for programmatic buyers to deliver high-value brand advertising in brand-safe environments, driving efficiency and performance across the web’s most trusted marketplace.
Vox Media’s first-party data solution, Forte, will integrate the Trade Desk’s cookie alternative Unified ID 2.0 within the new SSP for attribution and targeting. This ensures Concert SSP campaigns can be evaluated holistically alongside other publishers. The SSP will give advertisers the ability to directly access and leverage the proprietary high-impact ad unit, Athena, across Vox Media’s editorial brands like Group Nine, The Verge, New York Magazine as well as from the premium publishers that make up the national and local ad marketplace, Concert. AJ Frucci, SVP of Media Revenue and Head of Concert at Vox Media said,
“Since launching in 2016, Concert has remained singularly focused on making it easy for brands to advertise across premium publishers effectively and with confidence, by delivering creative excellence, reach, relevance, performance, and trust. The Concert SSP delivers on this mission for programmatic buyers by providing a more direct and standardized path for activating Concert through automated channels.”
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Is Vox Media walking a tightrope?
It’s not just playing around with programmatic advertising. The company’s moving to cut out ad tech vendors that take fees only to impede the process of programmatic advertising. As part of its launch, it’s creating its own supply-side platform – something ad tech publishers use to maximize the value of impressions, but don’t own.
Concert has had a programmatic offering, but its primary focus has been managed services until now. The company also said it’s strengthening its role in the programmatic space with hopes of making it a larger share of its business. As quoted by Digiday, AJ Frucci said,
“Owning our technology allows us to be masters of our domain. Having a non-standard ad product that’s reliant on third-party technologies always puts our own product roadmap at risk.”
Recently, government bodies slammed tech giants like Google and Apple for misconduct on the part of their DSPs and SSPs as well as data misuse. Vox Media, however, believes it has an edge in the space where its SSP will offer a “more direct path” between the marketplace and the advertisers as most, if not all, of the ecosystem, is owned by third-party ad tech middlemen built to commoditize scale.
The Concert SSP will enhance the buying experience for programmatic advertisers, improving performance and efficiency. The SSP offers increased viewability controls, as well as a significant increase in access to scale across Concert’s marketplace, allowing advertisers to reach a broader set of their desired audience in one place.
Meanwhile, the Trade Desk Publisher Inventory Development Will Dorothy commented that brands will have the benefits of scale and efficiency that come with programmatic buying, while safely leveraging valuable first-party data anchored in Unified ID 2.0.
“Our partnership with Vox Media will provide advertisers access to premium content in a way that hasn’t been done before across Concert’s entire portfolio of trusted publishers, through the Concert SSP.”
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