New Round Of Publishers Join Concert To Challenge Duopoly

Facebook and Google continue to dominate the advertising sphere—reports even show the duopoly pulling out ahead following the implementation of GDPR, a regulation partially initiated to limit their power.

In the U.S., publishers have scrambled for ways to make up the revenue lost through the tech giants’ domination of the advertising sphere. One solution has come in the form of alliances between publishing entities.

Vox Media formed the digital advertising marketplace Concert to allow publishers to team up and potentially take some of the power away from Facebook and Google.



Last week, New York Media, PopSugar and Rolling Stone all announced they were become members of Concert. Other partners include SBNation, recode, Brit + Co., and The Verge.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new additions will allow the marketplace to reach 122 million unique site visitors over 40 websites. However, members of Concert do not pool their first-party data, which Facebook uses to great advantage. 

The marketplace targets its audience by using generalized categories, including women’s lifestyle, sports and C-Suite.

Concert then shares part of its revenue with the publishers, though the amount has not been disclosed.

Other members of the publishing industry have come up with similar solutions that involve banding publishers together to challenge the duopoly.

For example, earlier this year, start-up publishing platform Maven held an invite-only weekend retreat in Whistler, Canada, intended to woo small publishers that have felt the financial pain following Facebook’s algorithm changes to join its “digital coalition.” 

In Maven’s case, the company hopes to attract publishers that want a one-stop-shop catering to all their digital publishing needs, while also providing a stable venue for advertisers.

Concert continues to pursue more publishing partners.

Ryan Pauley, vice president of revenue operations at Vox Media and general manager of Concert, told The Wall Street Journal: “No individual publisher is going to be able to compete with Facebook and Google, but with Concert, we feel like we have a path to a publisher partnership that can.”

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