Audience Studio has been crucial to the success of Concert by enabling data sharing with NBCUniversal and precise targeting of key audience segments, driving performance for our advertising partners.”


Audience Studio Helps Vox Media Drive Superior Advertising Performance

Vox Media is redefining the modern media company by empowering the smartest digital voices with the technology to create and distribute premium content. Vox Media is composed of eight media brands: The Verge (technology and culture), Vox (news), SB Nation (sports), Polygon (gaming), Eater (dining and nightlife), Racked (shopping), Curbed (real estate, design, and home), and Recode (technology and business). Vox Media engages hundreds of millions of people with high quality storytelling and experiences, generating 800 million monthly content views on and off platform.

The Challenge

Vox Media saw an urgent need among many digital marketers that couldn’t easily execute targeted campaigns at scale using high-impact ad units in premium and brand-safe environments.

To address this need, Vox Media partnered with NBCUniversal to launch Concert, an elite portfolio of premium publishers that pairs high-performing advertising products — focusing on video — with premium quality content. This enables Concert to offer advertisers both audience scale and sophisticated targeting and insights. Concert pools inventory from Vox Media’s eight properties and NBCUniversal’s digital properties, thereby providing marketers with an audience of 190 million unique people each month, which is ample scale for national campaigns. Additionally, Concert offers high-impact mobile, video, native, and advertising products that deliver higher engagement than advertisers can find elsewhere.

Impactful ad units and distribution at scale are only part of the equation: Precise audience targeting is also critical to driving campaign performance. Vox Media was searching for a way to enable marketers to target their consumers using a variety of first-, second-, and third-party data to create unique audience segments.

Vox Media understood the reach and audience challenges faced by many marketers. While these marketers could run high-impact campaigns with a set amount of publishers, they couldn’t achieve the scale and the robust audience targeting they needed to meet their objectives. Alternatively, marketers could execute programmatically, but they could do so only by using limited standard IAB sizes, which consumers often ignore. Vox Media wanted to provide a solution where marketers could reach their target audience across premium publishers with the highest quality ad products.

The Solution

Two years prior to launching Concert with NBCUniversal, Vox Media implemented Audience Studio's technology to collect, analyze, and activate its people data. The success of that implementation prompted Vox Media to expand its use to support audience targeting for campaigns that use Concert.

Vox Media found that Audience Studio had the best tools to enhance a publisher’s direct sold and premium programmatic business. Therefore, it was a natural decision to extend that partnership to Concert. Today, all of Concert’s targeting capabilities are executed via Audience Studio.

Vox Media uses Audience Studio to leverage its first-party data segments and to execute its data collaboration with NBCUniversal. This enables Vox Media to achieve scale and create unique audiences. By using its first-party data in tandem with second- and third-party data as needed, Vox Media is able to reach its advertising partners’ target audiences on an array of premium digital properties including non-endemic audiences across various sites. For example, a beauty brand can engage their customers on Racked as well as on other properties such as Eater or Curbed, or across NBCUniversal properties.

The Results

A multinational telecommunications brand was the first marketer to use Concert. To support their objectives, Vox Media leveraged Audience Studio to create a unique business segment composed of NBCUniversal and Vox Media’s comprehensive small business audiences. The results were stellar.

When comparing the Concert-targeted impressions to untargeted ones, Concert delivered:

  • 45% better overall performance
  • 56% higher interaction rate
  • 42% higher attention quality

With results like that, Vox Media will continue to explore new ways to drive data-driven content that puts the consumer in the spotlight.


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