Vox launches Forte for advertisers after New York Media purchase


Jim Bankoff, Chairman and CEO of Vox Media

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Now that it owns New York Magazine and a host of related web properties, Vox Media is trying to sell advertisers on a new platform that can get them in front of more eyeballs amid rule changes on personal privacy.

Vox, which owns Recode, The Verge and sports site SB Nation, said in September it would be acquiring New York Magazine parent New York Media and now said it has 125 million monthly visitors across its 13 editorial networks. The acquisition also brought with it commerce site The Strategist.

Vox is now rolling out Forte, which Chief Revenue Officer Ryan Pauley says reflects a new regulatory environment. Policy changes around browsers are giving consumers more information about the data collected on them, while in California, a privacy act taking effect next year also hands users more control over their data. Forte lets advertisers take advantage of Vox’s expanding network and gives them a direct link to the company’s audience instead of relying on third-party data.

In an interview, Pauley said Vox has “been building the capabilities” for Forte and now has “the additional scale, additional categories and the additional data signals from a commerce perspective,” along with subscription data through the merger, that add to what Vox can do.

The name Forte is a music reference in line with the theme of other Vox products like Concert, its ad marketplace, and Chorus, the platform it licenses to publishers like the Chicago Sun-Times and Funny or Die.

Pauley said the changes with Forte will help advertisers tailor creative messages based on where consumers are viewing the content, so they can offer different ads for someone shopping on The Strategist than a person reading tech news on The Verge or impeachment coverage on the main Vox site.

Earlier this month, Vox announced that hundreds of freelance writers, primarily those covering sports for SB Nation, will lose their jobs in the coming months as the company prepares for a California law to go into effect that will force companies to reclassify contractors in the state as employees.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Vox Media.



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