Vox Media is building a modern media company on the basis of strong brands for particular audiences. Too often digital media brands are overly reliant on a programmatic ad system that allows bad ads to slow down their sites, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff said on the Digiday Podcast.

“We’re zeroing out the open exchange stuff,” he said. “We got rid of it on the most quality parts of our network where we see the most demand for quality advertising, and now we’re zeroing it out across the rest of the network.”

Publishers have put too many bad ads on their sites
“Publishers previously were willing to put who-knows-what on their pages. They cede it to these sometimes decent, sometimes janky companies to put things on the page that slow it down, contribute to a worse consumer experience and push down CPMs.”

Digital brands need more than just great content
“It’s not just about creating great content. It’s also about getting an audience for it, being able to transact efficiently and being able to target efficiently. All the things we’ve come to expect from digital, which are scale and data, need to be married with all the things we expect from brand building, which are¬†quality, depth, context, performance, reliability and safety. The seesaw of people being drunk on data is coming back to equilibrium.”

Digital media still isn’t great at brand advertising
“The internet has revolutionized the bottom of the [marketing] funnel. Think of Google and Facebook. It’s wonderful. It’s revolutionary and has created trillions in industrial value because they can fulfill that demand. But first, there needs to be demand created.”

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