Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, our resilience, innovation, creativity, and ambition kept us moving forward, together. Now, as we look back, it’s clear our highlights don’t just represent what we’ve achieved, but also where we’re headed next.
Vox Media announced it will acquire Group Nine Media
The biggest news of the year, this transformative acquisition will bring beloved brands The Dodo, POPSUGAR, Thrillist, Seeker, and NowThis to Vox Media. Vox Media will be a top 10 U.S. media company by audience according to ComScore, with nearly 350 million social media followers, 6 billion monthly video views, and an advertising marketplace, Concert, that reaches hundreds of millions of people each month. The deal is expected to close in early 2022.
We grew our teams with exceptional talent
Vox Media has hired more than 200 people over the past 12 months, including major talent across editorial, product, and business development. Lindsay Peoples Wagner returned to the Cut, now as editor-in-chief; Swati Sharma joined Vox as editor-in-chief; Noel King joined Today, Explained as co-host; Choire Sicha returned to New York Magazine, as editor-at-large; Ariel Helwani returned to SB Nation with the MMA Hour; and Talia Baiocchi joined Eater with Punch. Jennifer Cullem joined as head of product; Greg Barber as vice president of product; Zahra Ladak as vice president of product platform; and Eric Karp to lead our newest business line as senior vice president of brand licensing.
Our journalism started conversations and engaged our audiences
The Verge and New York Magazine came together in a cover story partnership to publish “Revolt of the Delivery Workers,” with Josh Dzieza’s essential reporting on the conditions delivery workers face. The piece and cover treatment drove visibility to the hazardous working conditions that a new City policy intends to address. Fabiola Cineas’ “Why they’re not saying Ma’Khia Bryant’s name” sparked a new narrative; The Verge’s Alex Heath broke the news of Facebook’s plan to rebrand; Polygon’s April 2020 piece “Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide – Jolly Redd’s art, real or fake?” by Julie Lee continued to engage its audience with a total of 74 million views and at Eater Jaya Saxena’s “Pellet Ice is Extremely Overrated” created much debate.
We expanded our award-winning Vox Media Podcast Network
The Vox Media Podcast Network (VMPN) grew through acquisitions and partnerships that expanded and deepened it. VMPN welcomed Preet Bharara’s Cafe Studios, as well as Criminal Productions, founded by former public radio journalists Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer. Vox Media also entered into sales, marketing and distribution partnerships with Longform, which expanded its interview subjects to those who work in mediums beyond writing, and The Prof G Pod, a twice-weekly show hosted by best-selling author and NYU professor Scott Galloway.
We streamed everywhere you did
With a third series of Explained on Netflix (and more than 70 episodes) and mini series like The Mind, Explained; The Next Thing You Eat with David Chang on Hulu; and Level Playing Field, exploring issues of inequality and social justice through the lens of sports on HBO; and YouTube Originals successes Glad You Asked, Missing Chapter, and RetroTech with popular YouTube creator Marques Brownlee, returning with new seasons. Vox also launched a new, live Roku channel where you can find our video content 24/7.
We’ve continued to diversify our business
Our strategic bets on diversified revenue streams – podcasts, studios, ecommerce and subscriptions – have continued to prove their value. We invested in our brand licensing business and saw subscriptions to the New York Magazine digital product increase by 47% since last year. And, with their trust and authority, The Strategist and The Verge have recommended and sold thousands of mattresses, ergonomic chairs, facemasks, razors and airpod pros this year – a top products list that is truly a sign of the times.
We carefully returned to live events
While it was important to hit pause, we’ve missed live events and didn’t refrain from showing it. Kara Swisher’s annual invitation-only Code Conference felt like a reunion. It included conversations with Elon Musk, Marc Benioff, Satya Nadella and others in the signature red chairs. The 8th Annual Vulture Festival was everything you love about Vulture, including big name talent like Issa Rae, Seth Rogen, JoJo Siwa, and Henry Winkler and included a Third Rock From the Sun reunion. The Verge celebrated its 10th anniversary at On The Verge, with digital art and interactive experiences alongside The Verge’s best known voices including editor-in-chief Nilay Patel and executive editor Dieter Bohn.
We launched a corporate citizenship initiative
We’re focused on strengthening our industry through programs, policies, publishing technologies, and partnerships that support the next generation of media leaders and also do good, giving back to the communities we work with. We’ve established the second cohort of the Fellowship Program; launched the Vox Media Writers Workshop; and created Breaking Media, media 101 training program with the brand agency UM for people new to the advertising industry. In 2021, through Vox Media IQ we worked with over 35 brands on campaigns to educate and activate audiences around the causes they care about and launched More Than This, a podcast with Straight Talk Wireless that includes a visual experience to make it accessible to non-listening audiences. And we’ve given back through the Concert Equity Collective which gives 5% of all media spend to a social justice organization, Eater’s work with Food Bank New York and New York Magazine’s with City Harvest, for example.
Finally, we celebrated a lot of big wins
Vox Media won, for the second time, Digiday’s “Best Employer for Parents,” and earned a perfect score for the third year running on the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality index for LGBTQ+ equality. Our editorial networks, studios, and podcasting business continue to pick up industry leading awards:
- New York’s “Biography of a Building” series by Matthew Sedacca won a National Magazine Award and Polygon earned its first-ever ASME nomination for their Animal Crossing: New Horizons Guides.
- New York Magazine’s Craig Jenkins was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his writing on popular topics.
- On its Publishing Hot List, Adweek named Vox Media the Hottest in Podcasts, David Haskell the Editor of the Year, and the Strategist Hottest in Ecommerce.
- Epic’s feature film, 892, will premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition.
- The Verge’s Liz Lopatto was a finalist for Best in Commentary at the Online Journalism Awards, with her project Weird Money.
- Vox Media won multiple Webbys, with awards for SB Nation’s Secret Base; Today, Explained; Stay Tuned with Preet; and Recode’s Land of The Giants.
About Vox Media
Vox Media is the modern media company. For a decade, the company has remained at the forefront of the media industry by building successful brands, a suite of sophisticated publishing and marketing technologies, and a culture that prioritizes diversity, inclusivity, and equity. Our portfolio features the most relevant and respected editorial properties including Vox, New York Magazine, The Verge, The Cut, Eater, Vulture, The Strategist, Polygon, SB Nation, Intelligencer, Curbed, Grub Street, and Recode. The company is also home to the award-winning nonfiction production and distribution studio, Vox Media Studios, along with innovative technology that powers the business: the Concert advertising marketplace, Chorus technology platform, and Coral commenting tools. Vox Media has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Media, an Inc. Company of the Year, Digiday’s Best Employer for Parents, and one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.