Vox Media thinks it knows what it takes to produce content for loyal, engaged audiences. It believes part of that secret sauce is its proprietary platform Chorus—and now it's letting brands tap into that magic.
At its first upfront presentation Thursday Vox announced it was going to let brands use the platform for their native content through a service called Chorus for Advertisers. DigitasLBi was named the first agency partner.
"With the introduction of Chorus for Advertisers, marketers can leverage the same insights, data, workflow, and product technology that has driven astonishing results for our seven acclaimed media brands," said Mike Hadgis, vp of global revenue and partnerships for Vox Media.
Vox Media also gave advertisers a peek into what makes its content work. In addition to showing off premium video series like Eater's Savvy and Racked's Try Hards, it allowed the brains behind some of its premium publications to explain what makes them tick.
Eater is doubling down on restaurant reviews having added two full-time critics and one roving restaurant editor, in addition to improving community engagement and adding more longform content.
"Restaurants are like movies, like music, like theater," Eater's editor-in-chief Amanda Kludt said. "They are part of our culture."
Ezra Klein, editor-in-chief of Vox.com, said the news site's 23 million unique monthly views make it the top publisher in the politics section, per comScore. Later this year, Vox.com will unveil Vox Pop, a section on pop culture that will tackle water cooler topics from the formula behind Taylor Swift's songs to why Kevin Spacey's accent in House of Cards is so wrong.
"Making people feel like the news is too complex for them is the worst possible thing we can do in journalism," Klein said.
Back to Chorus. Trei Brundett, Vox's chief product officer, explained the platform uses online community data from search and social to help inform editorial planning. The staff then utilize Chorus' measurement tools to help see what's working so they can determine which editorial to pursue. Those stories are then analyzed, creating a feedback loop. Chorus also allows for more visual content and helps foster online community growth. The platform recently began integrating technology from data science startup OpBandit to further see how readers consume content, and now allows for geotargeting of headlines and images.
To prove Vox Media was committed to helping brands, Hadgis gave all his contact info—including his Tinder profile—so advertisers could get in contact with him.