Vox Media


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LBI Media has announced the appointment of Nick Valls as its new general manager for recently acquired WGEN in Miami, Florida. He will be in charge of sales and operations, as well as of recruiting and building a local team.  He will also oversee the addition of two local newscasts.





Ahzul has welcomed Stephen Palacios as their new partner and principal. Working directly with the C-level, Stephen’s role will be accelerating consumer-centric innovation.





The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has announced the departure of CEO Javier Palomarez. An interim Chief Operating Officer will be named to lead the transition.






The Board of Directors of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has named Fernand “Fern” Fernandez interim CEO. Mr. Fernandez, former Vice President Global Marketing for American Airlines, was supported unanimously for this interim position.





Stephanie L. Da Costa is now Associate Media Director at SapientRazorfish.






Marcus Reynaga is now Account Director, East, at Vox Media. His role will be focused on driving and growing revenue within the fashion, retail & US Government categories.





Orlando E. Castelblanco is now Director of Business Development at Media Response Group. His main responsibilities include media and strategic support, mobile-oriented solutions, and performance.






As the recent decision of the RNC to reserve US $150 million worth of video ad inventory shows, video will be a major vehicle to convince voters for the upcoming general election in November. With the above fact in mind a roundtable with major players at DSPs, SSPs, and publishers took place in New York City. Below some intelligence provided by the round table participants.

Political Dollars will go into PMP rather than Programmatic Guaranteed

video.david.jonesMichelle DeVine, Programmatic Sales Manager at Vox Media, provided market intelligence and said that a large advertiser expects to put approximately 90% of political video ad dollars to work at PMPs and only 10% into programmatic guaranteed inventory. Programmatic guaranteed inventory, while still bought in a programmatic way, is mostly agreed upon via a direct sales person.  At PMPs (private marketplaces), ad buyers usually bid in a real-time auction, making the process much more competitive for media properties like Vox Media.

Fundraising Campaigns tend to meet KPIs

Dovid Katz, Senior Director, Demand Facilitation at SpotX noted that so far in the election cycle political fundraising campaigns have tended to meet the Key Performance Indicators of these campaigns (funding goals). As the election date comes closer, viewability and completion rates are going to become more important. Katz added that by September he also expects negative political campaigns to be more popular. He also mentioned that repurposing creative for video advertising will not work:“You have to customize your message for each video ad type.” Udi Jacobi, Chief Commercial Officer at Brightcom asserted that using influencers has worked well in some of the political campaigns.

Google and Facebook are at Least 75% of the Video Market

Facebook-Live-VideoParticipants at the round table, sponsored by Brightcom, noted that in the overall digital market approximately 85% of ad-dollars are sold by Google and Facebook. In the digital video market the figure for the remaining “publishers” is perhaps a bit higher (25%) as LinkedIn and other players have a relatively strong video offering.

Higher Growth of the Video Ad Market Hinges on Resolving Latency Issues

The video ad market is growing in leaps and bounds, this year it is expected to rise to US$ 10 billion in the U.S.,  but long video ad load times (latency)  are an obstacle for an even higher growth rate.  Latency refers to a short period of delay (usually measured in milliseconds) between when a video signal enters and when it emerges from the system.
Participants at the round table agreed that still relatively long loading times for video ads are preventing video ad budgets growing even more. Video ad players need to speed up their response times, they concluded.

Hispanics, Very Important

An important Hispanic turnout at the general election and presidential campaign is going to be very  important for Democratic candidates, although the Republican National Committee (RNC) did say that Hispanics will be an important target in their US$ 150 million overall Video Ad Campaign. Javier Chanfreau, CEO of Medula Networks, stressed that targeting capabilities to reach the Hispanic population are a crucial factor in political online video campaigns.

Video Engagement Generally Much Higher than Display

Paulina Tillman, East Lead, Network Publisher Sales, AOL emphasized that video advertising gets much higher engagement rates compared to display. Tillman noted that for a recent campaign the engagement rate was of 1.84%, much higher than display advertising which typically lies around 0.2%.

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A summary of the most exciting recent news in advertising technology in the U.S., U.S.-Hispanic and Latin American markets. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.


DataXu, programmatic marketing software provider, is releasing a whitepaper which analyzes a year’s worth of data on ad fraud as the first instalment of its Programmatic Quality Report Series, The 2015 Advertising Fraud Report. This issue reports that brands lost $18.5 billion to fraud in 2015, and promises that things will get worse. Other statistics include the claim that fraud rates can reach 65% on exchanges, 17% on networks and 7% on publishers’ sites. The industry averages for fraud were reported between 6 and 30%.

NBC Universal and Vox Media have announced that they voxwill sell digital ad inventory across their portfolio of brands together. This is the biggest collaboration between the two since NBCU invested in Vox last year. Their “Concert” digital inventory portfolio will combine premium inventory and audiences and concentrate on display ad inventory for the time being (although they will almost certainly incorporate digital video at some point). The collaboration will give advertisers more tools to reach targeted audiences.

The Atlantic and Univision have announced that CityLab Latino, a Spanish-language version of The Atlantic‘s CityLab, which focuses on urban and lifestyle news, has gone live. Juan Pablo Garnham, a veteran at El Diario, is managing the editorial efforts out of Miami. 

In advance of the 2016 TV Upfronts, AOL today announced the launch of self-serve programmatic TV buying to give marketers a clearer view of valuable audience buying opportunities, and to better plan, purchase, and measure their TV ad investments. This self-serve module extends AOL’s ONE by AOL: TV managed module, which launched in 2014, and is part of the company’s open, unified programmatic platform ONE by AOL™, which launched in April 2015.

zvelo, a content categorization tool, announced the launch of zveloSHIELD™, a real-time, dual-decisioning ad fraud prevention and botnet detection system tool. It offers ways to combine pre-bid blocking of fraudulent IP addresses with zvelo’s exploit and botnet detection capabilities.

Digital identity company Drawbridge is partnering with Peer39® by Sizmek, a cookie-free targeting solution, to integrate Peer39’s contextual relevance data into the Drawbridge Cross-Device Platform. This way, advertisers, agencies and trading desks will be able to make media buys according to the contextual relevance of every web page, and decide exactly what ads they want their own ad to be placed next to.

Ghostly has announced that its Trackermap tool will be available to companies online a la carte instead of only through annual subscriptions. The tool improves the understanding of tracking tech online, displaying and mapping JavaScript tags associated with any single website.

eMarketer released a study that claims that mobile is driving the growth of programmatic advertising, accounting for more than two-thirds of all programmatic digital display-ad spending this year. Facebook, Alphabet‘s Google-owned YouTube, LinkedIn are important forces behind this trend. U.S. programmatic digital display-ad spending should reach $27.4 billion by 2017, an increase of 24%.

Proctor & Gamble is reportedly seeing three to five times greater ROI on ad spending through programmatic buying than it was through traditional environments.

Vasona Networks Inc, which creates platforms to help mobile-network operators improve user services, raised $14.6 million of Series C venture capital. The money will go towards Vasona’s projects with major network operators and drive R&D, the company said.

Virool, a video distribution platform for marketers, has raised  $12 million in Series A funding to penetrate the global market, Latin America included. The funding came from Flint Capital, Menlo Ventures, Yahoo! Japan, and 500 Startups.

DON’T MISS PORTADA’S UPCOMING EVENT: PortadaLat’s two-day LatAm marketing, advertising, media and digital conference, will be held from June 8-9, 2016 in Miami, and will feature a session on the OTT revolution. Register now to hear about monetization, view ability, YouTube, Facebook and more.

New trends in online video monetization, measurement, engagement and many more aspects of the emerging OTT market will be explored at the Latin Online Video Forum during PortadaLat in Miami on June 8-9, 2016. Get your tickets at early bird price now!


Nielsen Mexico has announced an agreement with MediaMath to integrate Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) with its TerminalOne programmatic media buying platform. DAR will provide comprehensive and real-time analysis of audiences on desktop and mobile for digital publishing campaigns – similar to Nielsen ratings for TV.

‘s latest stats also reveal that digital ads represented less than 20% of Mexico‘s total advertising spending, but that this number should rise to a  third by 2020. Mobile is on the rise in Mexico as well, as $1 out of $10 that goes to advertising spending in 2016 and $1 in every $4 by 2020 will go to the mobile screen. In Brazil, the Olympics will boost advertising, and mobile is also growing. It currently accounts for 6% of ad spending, but that should rise to 19.1% by 2020. In Argentina, mobile will account for 4% of spending this year, a number that will reach 17.2% by 2020.

iFood, the largest online food delivery platform in Latin America, today announces the acquisition of SpoonRocket technology. This move is the fifteenth acquisition in two years for iFood, and will continue to bolster the company’s unchallenged dominance of the on-demand economy in Brazil. The company plans to use SpoonRocket’s robust logistics technology to optimize delivery time, enhance the restaurant-to-consumer experience, and continue its rapid expansion in LatAm and other emerging economies.

Global media network Carat released growth forecasts for ad spending in 2017, and Latin American advertising markets are predicted to stay strong and achieve up to 10.5 % YOY growth.

H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm with $19 billion of equity capital under management and investor in Batanga Media, announced the closing of H.I.G. Brazil & Latin America Partners at $740 million, exceeding its $600 million target. The Fund will continue H.I.G.’s successful investment strategy of focusing on private equity, buyout and growth-oriented investments in lower middle-market companies in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil.

What: Yahoo has issued an statement where it claims that Yahoo Recommends, a monetization platform for publishers and part of its suite of publisher solutions, will be closed to new sign-ups.
Why it matters: The moves comes at difficult times for Yahoo, as the company has been experiencing a sucession of slumps lately. Yahoo Recommends visitors will be directed to its other products.

imagesYahoo has issued an statement where it claims that Yahoo Recommends, a monetization platform for publishers and part of its suite of publisher solutions, will be closed to new sign-ups and visitors will be directed to its other products.

“Yahoo Recommends signups are now closed, ”said the company through the statement. “We have not made the decision to shut down Yahoo Recommends, however, we are not actively signing up new publishers at this time,” told a spokesperson to Digiday.

We have not made the decision to shut down Yahoo Recommends, however, we are not actively signing up new publishers at this time

Yahoo Recommends, a competitor to platforms like Taboola and Outbrain, had been launched in September 2014.

The moves comes at difficult times for Yahoo, as the company has been experiencing a sucession of slumps lately, like shutting down several of its other properties including its digital “magazines.”In addition, the company has been forced to put its core business  for sale, while slashing 15% of its workforce.

Yahoo Recommends is powered by Yahoo’s personalization technology and enables publishers to display its articles in a variety of layouts on desktop and mobile,while featuring ads served through Gemini from other publishers and advertisers. The ads allowed content recommendation companies to get paid when people click on the content or ads in the widgets.

Yahoo Recommend was able to get three well-know publisher names when it was launched: CBS Interactive, Hearst Magazines and Vox Media, according to Digiday. However, CBS Interactive later  signed with Taboola and Hearst began using my6sense to power suggested articles on its sites. Vox Media sites are still displaying the Yahoo Recommends widget.

Related Articles:
Yahoo to Shut Down 7 of Its 11 Digital Magazines
4 Things to Know About Yahoo’s Q4 2015 Results and New Strategic Plan

What: Comcast will release a video service called “Watchable”, which will feature content coming from websites like Vice Media, The Onion and Vox Media.
Why it matters:With YouTube currently dominating the streaming video platform arena, Comcast’s Watchable could mean a game-changing move for anyone working in video production. New video platform “Watchable” is said to be aimed at matching YouTube as well as other companies such as Facebook that are rumoured to be starting a video platform as well.

descargaLast week, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal said it made a US$200 million equity investment in Vox Media, the online publisher of The Verge, Eater and Re/code. That deal, valued Vox at US$1 billion. And BuzzFeed just announced that it is raising US $200 million from NBC Universal. Vox Media, BuzzFeed , The Onion and Vice Media are going to be the likely content and distribution partners for “Watchable”.

From that moment on, many industry analysts speculated that the company is planning to build its own online video service.In fact, Comcast indeed revealed it will release a video service called “Watchable”, which will feature content coming from websites like Vice Media, The Onion and Vox Media.

Comcast is currently the largest seller of video ads in the United States. As platforms shift to digital, Comcast doesn’t want to lose market share, but they’re losing it to YouTube and Facebook.

With YouTube currently dominating the streaming video platform arena, Comcast’s Watchable could mean a game-changing move for anyone working in video production and marketing. To spice things up, Facebook has been also considering to start a video platform as well.


New video platform “Watchable” is said to be aimed at matching YouTube as well as other companies such as Facebook that are rumored to be starting a video platform as well.

Even though the name of the video platform is still subject to change, the service looks sure to be rolled out in one way or another.

Vox Media is one of the partners for the new service along with some major-name players like BuzzFeed. Some partners will provide content and others, like The Onion, Vice, NBC Sports, Mic, AwesomenessTV and Refinery29 will also be taking part in what Comcast is calling “a widespread digital-video platform. However, Comcast’s deal with the teen-oriented channel owned by DreamWorks Animation called AwesomenessTV and Internet-based new media company BuzzFeed are still in negotiation. Comcast says that these deals will last “a few years” and see partners provide unlicensed, original videos to users of Watchable. The content will be available to stream on demand, according to Business Insider.

“Comcast is currently the largest seller of video ads in the United States. As platforms shift to digital, Comcast doesn’t want to lose market share, but they’re losing it to YouTube and Facebook,” a source at Comcast said.

Watchable is also aimed to rival the rumored video platform from Verizon. When released, watchable videos will be released on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 box owners. The service will be made available on the mobile platform such as iOS and Android.Currently, Comcast has its own smart-TV service called Xfinity. The service allows subscribers to stream unlimited number of movies and TV shows on demand directly to their TV sets and mobile devices. The new online service will simply expand the content coverage of an already established cable platform.

As Comcast is already a major player in the digital video market, this move is meant to consolidate market share in the face of competition from emerging video platforms.

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What: Only sixteen months after having launched  Re/code, tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg are selling their technology news site to Vox Media. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed,  but Swisher and Mossberg will continue to run Re/code “with editorial independence.”
Why it matters: Technology, both tech gadget reviews and news, are one of the most profitable areas in digital media. Well-funded Vox Media is  now expanding into this area. It already owns Technology and Lifestyle publication (The Verge). Other Verticals Vox Madia is active in are Sports (SB Nation), Gaming (Polygon), Food and Nightlife (Eater), Fashion and Shopping (Racked), and Real Estate and Architecture (Curbed).

proxyVox Media, a Digital media conglomerate, has acquired technology industry news publication Re/code,  led by tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.
Financial terms of the the all-stock deal were not disclosed. However, both Swisher and Mossberg suggested they will continue to run Re/code “with editorial independence.” The sale may have to do with the difficulties Re/code was undergoing to achieve enough traffic levels to impress advertisers.

Re/code was launched in January 2014 by Swisher and Mossberg and has around 44 full-time employees, all of whom are expected to join Vox as part of the acquisition. Vox Media is also the owner of  the Verge, so this deal brings these two tech publications under one roof.

Swisher and Mossberg also built the web site and conference business AllThingsD within the Dow Jones division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.As they wanted more control, they split with Dow Jones at the end of 2013 and lined up investors for Re/code.

“They gave us a ton of autonomy,” Mossberg said of Dow Jones at the time, “but ultimately there are some things you just need to have your own business to do, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Well-known media upstarts  have been hiring reporting teams and angling for Silicon Valley coverage, alongside older players such as TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Wired, VentureBeat.

“Like a lot of start-ups, they got to a point where they could either invest in scaling up on their own, or work with someone who already has,” Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff.”Re/code really rounds out our portfolio.I think we can learn from” their conference business, Bankoff said, “and over time — not immediately, but over time — extend it into other areas as well,” “he added.

He also said that Re/code would benefit by hooking into Vox’s publishing platforms.

“Everybody is bigger than us,” Swisher said in an interview with the New York Times. “It’s not a secret that being a smaller fish is really hard.”

Re/code’s primary financiers were NBC News and the media executive Terry Semel. NBC News is owned by Comcast, which is already an investor in Vox through its Comcast Ventures arm.

Bankoff said that he spoke with Swisher and Mossberg about a possible deal back when they were planning to exit Dow Jones.

“The timing wasn’t right,” he said. “We kept the conversation open since then. Now the timing is right.”

Lately, well-known media upstarts such as Vox and Buzzfeed have been hiring reporting teams and angling for Silicon Valley coverage, alongside older players such as TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Wired, VentureBeat. In the meantime, well-established media like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and CNBC are also directing resources at covering the tech scene.

Late last year, Vox Media raised $46.5 million in a round led by General Atlantic. The funding gave Vox a post-money valuation of about US $380 million, according to people familiar with the transaction.

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Some noteworthy stories on Entertainment/Marketing and Media from around the web as picked up by Portada’s Editorial Team.

El Rey Network cancels second season of ‘Matador’
El_Rey_Network.jpegRobert Rodriguez‘s El Rey Network has opted not to move forward with a second season of its original action drama series ‘Matador’, Deadline reports. Launched in July, following the World Cup, ‘Matador’ starred Gabriel Luna as a DEA agent recruited by the CIA to go undercover as a professional soccer player. The series, whose 13-episode first season ended its run in October, was created by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman, with Rodriguez directing the opening hour.  According to Deadline, ‘Matador’, an expensive production shot in Los Angeles and backed by El Rey, did relatively well  in its U.S. run. But the series, described as a Latino take on James Bond, did not do as well as its producers had hoped internationally where its sales were soft despite a strong initial interest, leading to the decision not to proceed with Season 2.

Vox Media gets an additional US$ 46.5 million in funding to disrupt Cable Networks?
Vox Media, the company behind high-profile sites including the Verge, SB Nation and Vox, has raised $46.5 million in a round led by General Atlantic, Re:Code reports. The funding gives Vox a post-money valuation of about US $380 million, according to people familiar with the transaction. It means that Vox, led by former AOL executive Jim Bankoff, has raised around $110 million in the last six years. Bankoff says Vox represents a new breed of content company that can take advantage of the tech-inflected turmoil established companies are going through: “Things are starting to unbundle,” he said. “Magazines and newspapers are starting to be disrupted. Cable networks are next. I think a lot of investors look around and say:‘This is a new opportunity.’”

Newspapers register record digital Audience
Well, at least there seems to be some positive news for” old media”. According to the Newspaper Association of America, citing ComScore figures, 166 million U.S. adults consumed newspaper content via digital platforms in October. That’s an increase of 24 million, or 17% over October 2013, MediaPost reports. Over the first 10 months of the year, monthly digital audiences for 300 U.S. newspapers tracked by comScore increased by some 20 million. Mobile- device viewing on content grew by 85% in October, with a big jump coming among women 25-34 and men 35-44. This new data offers marketers a potential positive future for targeting newspaper readers digitally.


What: Vox Media is aiming to raise US $40 million to expand its business.
Why is it important: Reliable online-only publications are attracting an ever-increasing investor interest, as they are becoming the go-to sources for news and advice on several topics.

Washington, D.C.-based digital media company Vox Media is one of the fastest growing online publishers, focused on the sports, personal technology and gaming categories, as described by CrunchBase. Its three brands are SB Nation, one of the largest sports-blogging communities on the Web; tech/gadgets site The Verge, and gaming site Polygon.

Yesterday, word came out that it had filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, so as to raise US $4o million in a new funding round which was reportedly led by Accel Partners. Vox Media has previously raised more than US $20 million from backers such as Comcast and Khosla Ventures.

According to Venture Beat, Vox Media has revealed plans to expand its video business for various sites and connected TV applications. In May, The Verge added a new video channel and brought on Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian as a regular host. Vox added an in-house agency earlier this year to sell sponsorship for this series.

Vox is also planning to use the funding to broaden its editorial coverage across various sites. It will now produce more reported videos and cover business topics beyond its usual social media news and gadget reviews.

Part of the model here at Vox is building a media company that’s equal parts magazine and news publisher and equal parts video producer and publisher… We are seeking to create an experience that feels as much like TV programming as magazine publishing.

–Jim Bankoff, CEO, Vox Media

As reported by AdAge, The Verge, one of Vox’s brands, has already gained ground on its closest competitors. According to comScore, at 5.62 million unique visitors in September –compared to 425,000 in its first month after launching– it has gathered a larger audience than competitors AOL-owned sites TechCrunch (5.21 million) and Engadget (5.04 million), as well as Condé Nast’s Wired.com (5.06 million). However, it lags behind Gawker’s Gizmodo.com, which reached 8.39 million visitors that same month.

By comparison, SB Nation received 8.84 million unique visitors in September, and Polygon attracted 947,000, per comScore. Across desktop and mobile web in August, Vox’s three properties spanned 18.88 million visitors, though that doesn’t account for people who may have checked out two or more of the sites that month.

Says VentureBeat that industry experts are already speculating whether Vox Media will go public, as it would be very expensive (probably too expensive) to acquire. Vox Media chief executive Jim Bankoff told Ad Age that the company is more focused at present on building out its product, and “executing on our plans.”

Sources: AdAge, VentureBeat, Reuters.

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