2022 was a busy year for Vox Media as we continued expanding across editorial brands and lines of business. While our company grew, our focus remained on telling outstanding stories and being a leader in journalism that makes an impact in the real world. Our beloved brands continued to lead with their reach and relevance across platforms and mediums, with coverage of important topics, and stories that started conversations themselves, inspiring our passionate audiences.
Vox Media completed our acquisition of Group Nine Media
This year, Vox Media officially welcomed beloved brands The Dodo, Popsugar, Thrillist, and NowThis, expanding the company’s slate of award-winning editorial brands that are leaders in relevance and reach across every major area of audience interest. Vox Media now ranks #1 for time spent and total views in social video among digital publishers (Tubular Labs, June 2022) and has a social media footprint of 350 million followers across platforms — Vox.com hit 11 million subscribers on YouTube at the end December and NowThis has become the most-followed news account on TikTok in the US, with over 9 million followers.
We started conversations and engaged our audiences through thoughtful journalism
In 2022, Vox Media told outstanding stories that both entertained and informed audiences about some of the biggest moments of the year. Vox.com continued to bring clarity to important issues, including the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade, the midterms, the war in Ukraine, and the rise of the pedestrian death rate, leading to immediate changes to government transportation plans. New York Magazine — Adweek’s Hottest Magazine of the Year and ASME Cover of the Year winner — also shed a light on abortion rights and the war in Ukraine. The Verge and New York’s collaboration on a story shedding light on the brutal conditions NYC delivery workers face was recognized by the Gerald Loeb Awards and also led to new legislation. NowThis — named one of Fast Company’s 2022 Brands That Matter — held a forum with President Joe Biden, which featured Biden in conversation with young people leading on six key issues animating them ahead of the midterms. Popsugar conducted an exclusive sit-down interview with Vice President Kamala Harris to raise the alarm about abortion rights and bodily autonomy ahead of the midterms.
Vox Media led the conversation on former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) following a groundbreaking interview with SBF from Vox and a comprehensive cover package on SBF from New York. The Verge underwent a full redesign, allowing Verge journalists to more easily add commentary or additional reporting to today’s hottest topics, including everything going on with Twitter, and demonstrating the strength of our product development capabilities. Polygon celebrated 10 years with a new editorial package, “The Next 10,” looking forward to the next 10 years of entertainment, and the relaunch of its merch store. Secret Base — the award-winning franchise from SB Nation — premiered Prism, a new documentary series that dives deep into notable sports athletes and figures and inspects their public perception.
Eater — 2022 ASME Magazine Award winner for Lifestyle Journalism — recently announced the Best New Restaurants of 2022, compiling 12 months of trends and transitions in the restaurant industry across the country and listing the 15 restaurants that best serve exciting, innovative, and consistently great food. To adapt to the changing travel landscape, Thrillist created Return Ticket, a travel guide with tips, shortcuts, and insider knowledge and a personal touch to help travelers prepare for their next adventure and adapt to our new normal.
Our products and resources helped push the industry forward
To help newsrooms better cover social, cultural, and identity-related topics, Vox Media published Language, Please, a new resource providing journalists and storytellers with context, history, guidance, and tools at every stage of a story. Vox Media Writer’s Workshop returned for a second year to pair would-be journalists with editors and writers across Vox Media to provide them their first chance to ideate, edit, and publish an original piece of reporting. We launched the Concert SSP, a publisher-led supply side platform, to make it even easier for brands to invest in the open web and advertise across premium publishers. Vox Media’s open source commenting platform, Coral, was honored by the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA) for empowering safer online conversations and reducing online racism and abuse.
We continued to create meaningful partnerships with brands
In partnership with Sephora, Digitas and Ventureland, Vox Creative and Epic Stories created The Beauty of Blackness, a powerful documentary about the story of Fashion Fair Cosmetics — the first brand to create a line of cosmetics specifically for women of color. The documentary won numerous awards, including a TribecaX Award for Best Feature Film. Our teams continued to innovate audio ads, with breakthrough branded segments, host reads and more–working with over 250 brands this year. Vox Creative launched two branded podcasts, including its second with Ben & Jerry’s with Into the Mix, and Are You Sleeping? with Mattress Firm, a series featuring sleep-related stories and tips for the rest-obsessed and sleep sufferers. In partnership with Zelle, Vox Creative launched The Science Behind Scams, a 360° content series designed to drive awareness of Zelle’s commitment to helping consumers stay safe online through innovative customer experiences, delivering 11 million audio ad impressions of its branded segment.
We expanded our award-winning Vox Media Podcast Network and welcomed returning favorites
Vox Media is coming off a year of high growth for its audio business, following acquisitions (Cafe and Criminal) and partnerships (Waveform and Gastropod) with a focus on creators. In the last year, Vox Media Podcast Network (VMPN) doubled its monthly downloads across the network. Vox’s flagship daily news podcast, Today, Explained, debuted on public radio through a partnership with WNYC, now reaching over 80 stations across the U.S., including major radio markets like Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. Kara Swisher returned to Vox Media and launched a new podcast, On with Kara Swisher — a sibling to New York Magazine’s Pivot franchise — which helps listeners make sense of the moment through agenda-setting conversations. Sam Sanders joined New York Magazine to launch Into It, a new weekly culture podcast from Vulture. And Vox Media was recognized for its prowess in audio, included in The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list of “podcast power players.”
Vox Media Studios reached new heights
In 2022, the Emmy award-winning studio continued to partner with the industry’s biggest creatives, filmmakers, and talent on premium unscripted, documentary, and scripted programming. Vox Media Studios’ first theatrical release, Breaking — starring John Boyega and produced by Epic Magazine — premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival before hitting theaters nationwide. The studio expanded its slate with HBO with the premiere of Nanfu Wang’s critically acclaimed docuseries Mind Over Murder and Sex Diaries, a four part docuseries inspired by New York’s column of the same name. It also continued its food-focused programming deal with Hulu, premiering Best in Dough and Chefs vs. Wild, and along with additional docuseries: The Verge’s The Future Of on Netflix and Keep This Between Us on Freeform/Hulu. And Netflix debuted two widely watched shows – Inventing Anna and The Watcher – based on New York Magazine articles.
We made a successful (and safe) return to live events
After easing back into live events in 2021, Vox Media used 2022 as an opportunity to reconnect with the biggest names and greatest minds in tech and media. Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway hosted Vox Media’s first-ever Pivot MIA event, turning the popular Pivot series into an in-person conference. Code Conference celebrated 20 years with iconic host Kara Swisher and featured high-profile speakers like Pete Buttigieg, Tim Cook, Mark Cuban, Gavin Newsom, and Issa Rae. The 9th annual Vulture Festival brought tons of fun and fanfare to Los Angeles once again: Jamie Lee Curtis celebrated her birthday and the final Halloween film; Henry Winkler taught an acting class; Sheryl Lee Ralph talked about her Emmy-winning work in Abbott Elementary; and the casts of Super Troopers, Happy Endings, and The Proud Family all reunited.
We found new ways to deliver value to our audiences and retail partners
Vox Media’s robust e-commerce business spans numerous categories and editorial brands, leveraging deep trust in audiences to create service-oriented content. The Strategist held its third-annual “Two Day (Actually Good) Sale” and we also launched The Cut Shop, a new digital boutique with shopping recommendations spanning fashion, beauty, wellness, and home products.
Expanding on Vox Media’s brand licensing deals, The Dodo collaborated with Walmart on its first-ever pet product collection, as well as a “Pet Lovers” box and Fetch by The Dodo pet insurance. Eater partnered with Abrams on a new Eater line of books, which marks the brand’s first foray into book publishing and includes three cookbooks and four city guides. Additionally, Vox Media partnered with Wright’s Media to expand its badging business on Polygon, The Strategist, and The Verge.
We found ways to surprise and delight our subscribers, while continuing to grow our base for New York Magazine. During this holiday season, our consumer revenue team partnered with The Strategist on an exhaustive holiday gift guide in the print issue of New York which for the first time, was accompanied by an online issue that is available for digital and print subscribers, bringing the experience of paging through the magazine online.
Looking ahead to 2023, our brands will continue to focus on how they can best serve their audiences and bring value to their lives across platforms and media.