Vox Media has announced a partnership with Google to develop a portfolio of Vox custom audio programming, which debuted on Google Assistant-enabled devices in July 2020. The slate kicks off with audio segments from Today, Explained, Vox’s flagship daily news podcast hosted by Sean Rameswarem. The programming will be part of Google’s Your News Update product, a playlist of short-form news stories tailored to users based on their interests, location, and preferences, which launched in November 2019 in the US.
Vox’s new short form audio content will debut with bite-sized versions of Today, Explained and later this summer, Vox will produce daily pieces of audio for Google Assistant-enabled devices from the Vox and Recode podcasts and newsrooms – featuring daily political hot takes, short form stories in culture or tech scoops.
The partnership with Google further scales Vox’s explainer model that has proved to be successful across multiple content topics and various platforms and is designed to cut through the clutter and explain complex issues and culturally salient developments that serve to inform and empower audiences.
Currently Vox produces a number of podcasts, including The Weeds, the Ezra Klein Show, Today, Explained, Reset, The Impact, and this year, Vox Video, which produces the Emmy award winning “Earworm” that just surpassed 8 million subscribers on YouTube. With Vox Media Studios, Vox has partnered with leading streaming platforms to produce premium non-fiction programming including Netflix’s “Explained,” “Coronavirus, Explained,” “The Mind, Explained,” and “Sex, Explained;” Quibi’s “Answered;” YouTubeOriginals’ “Glad You Asked,” which was recently nominated for a daytime Emmy.
All content for Google Assistant-enabled devices will be produced internally across Vox’s audio teams, reaching audiences across phones, tablets, speakers, Smart Displays, and cars via Android Auto.
To get the playlist, users can say the custom command “Okay, Google, play Vox Quick Hits,” or ask their Assistant to “play Your News Update” or “play Google News.” They can also select “Your News Update” as their preferred news playlist format in their Assistant’s News settings. To make sure Google Assistant knows Vox is a preferred news provider, they can favorite Vox as a news source in their Assistant’s News settings as well.