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Insights & Innovation: 2020 Roundup

Alexei Hay

At the end of April, a month into an unprecedented nationwide lockdown, 67% of people told us that they were concerned that society would be changed permanently. Heading into the last weeks of 2020, it’s apparent that the virus has indeed changed us. Covid-19 has put into question the very fundamentals of “normal” that we’d all come to unthinkingly accept, but despite the disruption, the pandemic has also created a rare opportunity to reflect on our lives and, potentially, to reset them.

To better understand audiences’ new behaviors and shifting sentiments, explore this roundup of all the research our Insights & Innovation team shared this year.


As much as we have advanced our digital lives to create algorithms to optimize engagement, time spent on site, and drive scale, we have yet to construct algorithms that challenge ourselves to be better to one another.

Understanding complexity is crucial to all of us understanding each other, but the oversimplification of the information we consume online has led to a regression of empathy. Quality journalism can bridge the gap.


The opportunity for marketers to reach audiences on audio. Podcasts deliver trusted and relevant content in a focused, rich, and powerful package, that audiences say they can’t get anywhere else.

Supporting local journalism is incredibly important in building incremental audiences and communities, making for a valuable environment for advertisers to target relevant consumers and drive action.


Gauging the public’s pulse on areas of inequality in America and how Vox Media’s readers and non-Vox Media readers define equality: what issues matter most, expectations of brands, and the role of journalism.

Finding universal support among Vox Media audiences for the Black Lives Matter movement— as our readers look for ways to drive action and create lasting change.

Dissecting the conditions that have enabled misinformation to proliferate, discussing how to overcome the obstacles to consensus, and charting a way forward.

Examining journalism’s role in overcoming the obstacles imposed by rampant misinformation and the actions marketers can take to combat the noise.


Understanding what “normal” means for consumers in terms of their mindset, media consumption, and values.

Vox Media research explores how the pandemic adjusted our current routines and rhythms including how and where we shop.

This holiday season consumers and marketers have adjusted their practices, habits, and attitudes when it comes to creating a cheerful season in an otherwise stressful year.