×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCUniversal, Vox Media Join to Sell Upscale Consumers to Advertisers

The Web, so detractors will tell you, is filled with challenges for advertisers. Click fraud is rampant. Viewer traffic is hard to qualify. Even trying to make sure someone actually saw a streaming-video promotion when it ran is an onerous task.

With that in mind, NBCUniversal and Vox Media say they are putting together an advertising package that will give potential sponsors access to a higher-quality audience that might offset some of those distractions.

Vox has partnered with NBCU to sell digital inventory across the combined digital portfolio of the media giant, which runs shows like “The Voice” and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and its partner, which operates sites like SB Nation, The Verge and Re/code.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad stuff happening in digital advertising,” said Jim Bankoff, chairman and chief executive of Vox Media, in an interview. So the companies are trying to offer something advertisers want – affluent, highly-educated audiences between the ages of 24 and 34 – and do it in a way that allows big sponsors to reach the consumer mass they need to make the purchase worthwhile.

Though NBCU has already begun weaving content and personnel from Vox sites into some of its news programming on CNBC and MSNBC, the pact marks the one of the first business agreements between the companies since the Comcast-owned media conglomerate invested $200 million into Vox Media last August. NBCU also invested $200 million in the entertainment-focused BuzzFeed in the same month. The deals were seen as emblematic of a shift in the media industry, which has long set owners of so-called “traditional” media like newspapers, TV networks and movie studios as rivals of upstart outlets focused first on web, mobile and social audiences. As consumers become harder to reach across all the venues, however old and new players have begun to embrace one another.

Other companies have also come together. Viacom is selling U.S. advertising for Snapchat, the instant-messaging service. And A+E Networks, owned jointly by Walt Disney and Hearst, is co-owner of the new Viceland cable network with Vice Media, the  digital-media company that has made a name for itself with a  “boots-on-the-ground” style of journalism that also fuels programming on its own sites and HBO.

An advertiser seeking to use the new Vox-NBCU program, which the two companies have labeled “Concert,” might align ads aimed at foodies with NBCU’s “Today” program and certain programs from Bravo, but also Vox’s Eater site, said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCU (above, pictured).

“It really does link together just an incredible consortium of premium content,” she said in an interview.

The two companies said the partnership can give advertisers the ability to reach more than 150 million people across 8 Vox properties and NBCU’s digital assets. Vox has spent months working to build ad units that match the quality of the content on its sites, said Bankoff. The two companies will offer mobile, video and native advertising products.

Vox and NBCU unveil the initiative just weeks before advertisers are set to gather for two big sales events: the “digital newfronts,” in which players ranging from AOL to Yahoo haw their wares to Madison Avenue – and TV’s annual “upfront” market, when U.S. TV network try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming programming season.

More Digital

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Entertainment One, Universal to Partner on Home Entertainment

    Entertainment One and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment have signed a multi-year, multi-territory distribution agreement. UPHE will serve as the home entertainment distributor of eOne’s offerings across both physical and digital formats. The pact covers film, television, and select family content and includes all sales, marketing, and distribution, spanning the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, Spain, Australia, [...]

  • 'Darkwood' Delivers Surreal Horror to Nintendo

    'Darkwood' Delivers Surreal Horror to Nintendo Switch

    “Darkwood” is the sort of game you might not expect to find on the Nintendo Switch: It’s dark, violent, and immensely unsettling. But the top-down survival horror title is also an excellent fit for the platform, the sort of evocative experience that a player can methodically pick at in short stints, or sink into for [...]

  • MLB All-Star Game

    T-Mobile’s MLB.tv Subscription Giveaway Available Now

    T-Mobile is once again giving its customers free access to MLB.tv, Major League Baseball’s streaming service. The telco began giving away access to the streaming service Tuesday; anyone interested in signing up has until April 1 to do so. MLB.tv allows subscribers to stream regular season games on mobile and TV connected devices, and is [...]

  • The Federal Trade Commission building in

    FTC to Examine Privacy Practices of Major Internet Providers

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission said it is launching an examination of the privacy practices of major internet providers including AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to study how they use consumer information. Capitol Hill lawmakers have been giving added scrutiny to the tech industry’s use of consumer data for more than a year, but much [...]

  • Jessica Rodriguez Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Univision's Jessica Rodriguez on Shaking Up a Traditional TV Brand

    With new leadership in place at Univision, the network is evolving in ways its fast-growing Hispanic audience in the U.S. might find surprising. Look no further than the broadcaster’s primetime schedule, according to Jessica Rodriguez, CMO of Univision Communications and president/COO of Univision Networks, who relied on audience research to shake up traditional notions of [...]

  • Electronic Arts Logo

    EA Laying Off 350 People, About 4% of Staff

    Electronic Arts is laying off about 350 of its 9,000-person staff, CEO Andrew Wilson announced in a blog post on its website Tuesday. In the brief, open letter, Wilson noted that the move was made to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” and to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization [...]

  • How Will Apple TV+ Impact Netflix?

    How Will Apple TV+ Shake Up Netflix? Analysts Are Split

    Is Apple’s star-fueled streaming service a “Netflix killer” — or just another incremental challenger chasing the market leader? Wall Street analysts don’t agree on whether Apple TV+ will put a big dent in Netflix’s subscriber momentum with the debut of its premium subscription VOD service later this year. At its splashy unveiling Monday, Apple trotted [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content