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Vox Media unveils new suite of products as part of its first-party data platform, Forte

New offerings include brand suitability tool and capabilities for brands to leverage first-party data segments across dozens of local and national publishers via Concert

Today, Vox Media has announced updates to it’s first party data platform, Forte, including a brand suitability tool, and a new offering called Forte for Concert, that will allow brands to deploy advertising campaigns using first-party data segments across Concert, Vox Media’s proprietary ad marketplace made up of dozens of trusted local and national publishers.

With these expansions, Forte builds on its ability to provide a single, scaled first-party solution for advertisers to confidently invest in high quality publisher environments built on trust, safety, and performance.

Forte’s updated suite of solutions includes:

  • Forte Audience: Forte Audience clusters users based on consumed content, intent and commerce signals, creative metadata, and engagement trends on our networks to offer hundreds of first-party segments based on Vox Media’s unique audience relationship.
  • Forte for Concert: The new offering will combine Vox Media’s first-party data solution, Forte, with the existing infrastructure of the trusted publisher-led marketplace, Concert, allowing marketers to leverage unique first party segments at scale for their advertising campaigns. Forte for Concert categorizes content and users across the Concert portfolio in accordance with IAB’s content taxonomy, then models common behavioral patterns and traits from Vox Media’s 13 editorial networks to build scaled segments of users who exhibit similar traits across the Concert portfolio.
  • Forte Brand Suitability: Forte’s proprietary brand suitability tool provides reliability and protection for advertisers and publishers across the Concert ecosystem. The tool analyzes every word and phrase on a page to provide targeting and blocking down to individual keywords – ensuring ads only appear within environments deemed suitable for a specific campaign or client. Forte Brand Suitability is also able to ingest client keyword lists, optimizing yield for Concert publishers by minimizing blocked impressions within brand suitable content.
  • Forte Performance: Forte will now automatically apply optimizations to all eligible campaigns, driving better performance for advertisers. Forte Performance works to narrow in on the best performing segments for a given KPI over a campaign life-cycle, updating targeting to maximize the impact of every impression. Brands who have used Forte Performance have seen an average of 2x lift in brand KPIs, when compared to campaigns not using Forte.

“A core part of Vox Media’s history is building products and solutions that extend beyond our own brands to contribute to a better internet and a healthier digital ecosystem. Forte and Concert are examples of this, as we remain laser focused on putting the key constituencies of users, advertisers and publishers on the same plane,” said AJ Frucci, Head of Concert and SVP of Media Revenue at Vox Media. “These updates further our mission by powering better targeting and performance for advertisers, while supporting high value content for publishers and respecting the privacy and experience of users.”

Vox Media’s first-party data strategy remains differentiated because of a multitude of data signals via its direct relationships with its audiences, it’s multi-vertical scale and because it owns the ad tech behind Concert. In the last year, Concert has seen brand interest at an all time high, as marketers turn to the platform as an effective, brand safe, privacy-first solution, and look to align their spend with purpose-driven partners.

“Concert is a marketplace founded on a user-first experience, and we’ve taken the same approach with developing Forte. We’re creating solutions that work today, but with an eye towards the future, that are completely agnostic to what third-party cookies rely on. We’re building a first party platform that is on the right side of history, for users, publishers and advertisers,” said Megan Walton, VP, Product Revenue at Vox Media.

Vox Media announced Forte in December 2019 following the merger with New York Media, as the industry was undergoing major changes to privacy settings and a month before Google’s public decision to block third-party cookies. Since launch, nearly 250 brands have utilized Forte to effectively reach audiences via first-party data segments. In 2021, Vox Media expects north of two-thirds of impressions will leverage first-party data, up from half in 2020.