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Advertising Week 2022: Vox Media’s Chief Revenue Officer on the Three Pillars that Make a Modern Media Partner

In conversation with Axios’ Media Deals Reporter Kerry Flynn, Pauley shares how the modern media company is differentiating itself 

On stage at Advertising Week, at the Market Line in New York City, Vox Media’s Chief Revenue Officer Ryan Pauley joined Axios Media Deals Reporter Kerry Flynn, where he shared the three pillars that make up a modern media company and partner. Below are highlights from the conversation.

What make up the three pillars of a modern media partner and company

1. Building a strong, inclusive, values-driven culture

Vox Media has built a diverse, inclusive culture that allows its people to do their best work. Recently named Digiday’s Best Employer for Parents and one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equity by HRC, at the heart of Vox Media’s culture is a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and well-being, and an understanding that employees have different needs based on their roles, identities, and locations.

On stage, Pauley shared how we’ve proven ourselves to be a top home for creators, with a “[focus] on building the company as a platform, to support different brands and talents,” pointing to the brand-building resources we provide including monetization, distribution, insights and promotion across a strong multi-brand, multi-platform business model. He explained, “The foundation is the launching pad to let these amazing creators do what they do best: create an amazing product and connect and spend time with their audience… We are a home for really entrepreneurial talent who want to focus on that creative output.”

2. Producing high quality creative work that resonates with audiences, brands and advertising partners

“Building a modern media company and programming to a modern audience means you have to be at the forefront of where consumption is happening,” Pauley shared in our approach to programming across Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Roku, Snap, TikTok, and beyond. On TikTok, Pauley noted Vox Media is the #1 most followed publisher on TikTok, with NowThis being the #1 news creator on the platform.

Pauley also shared how we’re working with brands, particularly on social platforms pointing to the recent launch of the Vox Creative Social Club, “Our branded content team works closely with editorial teams to share creative learnings, to understand what types of formats are working so that we can translate that into creative work for our brand partners.”

3. Building a diverse business model

In February, Pauley took on an expanded remit to oversee all major revenue streams, including commerce and affiliate marketing and consumer revenue, in addition to advertising, reflecting a commitment to diversifying revenue. Pauley spoke to the Vox Media Podcast Network being an incredibly important growth business for us, saying, “what we’ve found to be a differentiator is the creative product,” noting that Vox Media produces every single ad heard by audiences across our podcasts.

“In media, the strategy is hundreds of years in the making. The difference in media is how you execute against these three pillars. That’s how Vox Media has differentiated: [our] frequency and consistency of execution.”

Asked by Flynn if the pillars will hold, Pauley said: “I’m certain they’ll hold. They’ll be the pillars 25 years from now. But the tactics will change.”

Also on stage at Advertising Week New York

Jen Ortiz, Executive Editor of the Cut joined a panel in partnership with GroupM, in a discussion on the role brands and media platforms have in a post-Roe v. Wade world. Jen hared a behind-the-scenes look at the making of New York Magazine’s May cover issue “This Magazine Can Help You Get An Abortion” which featured a practical guide and online searchable database for accessing abortions nationwide.