2014 Year in Review

Welcome to our 2014 year in review. For the unfamiliar, here’s the TL;DR on us: Vox Media publishes seven of the most popular and well regarded digital brands today across broad consumer categories — SB Nation, The Verge, Vox.com, Polygon, Eater, Racked, and Curbed — collectively attracting a smart and influential audience of 155mm people each month.

“Vox is a digitally native business, a technology company that produces media, as opposed to a media company that uses technology. Everything at Vox, from the way it covers subjects, the journalists it hires and the content management systems on which it produces news, is optimized for the current age.”
- David Carr, The New York Times

Vox Media in 2014 - The 30,000 Foot View

2014 kicked off with the introduction of three new sites to the Vox Media family: Curbed — covering the world of real estate and home, Eater — reporting on food and dining news, and Racked — obsessively focused on shopping and style, from sidewalks to catwalks.

In April we unveiled Vox.com, a modern new outlet explaining the news. Founded by Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias and Melissa Bell, Vox.com was the most successful media launch of 2014, going from zero to 22mm unique monthly readers in 7 months of existence — and we’re just getting started.

"At our first meeting, we knew we were going here," he said. "They had the technology we thought we were inventing."
- Ezra Klein, The New York Times  

2014 was also a massive year for video growth at Vox Media. We doubled our average monthly video views across all platforms and grew our subscriber base by 91% across YouTube. Our video strategy is, and always will be, precise: tell stories in whatever formats and lengths to best tell them. The result was a diverse mix of explainers, long forms, collaborations, and a few experiments that caught us by surprise. Here are a few of our favorites:

The Verge teamed up with product reviews wunderkind Marques Brownlee (aka MKBHD), launching their first collaboration that poses the question: what does your dream smartphone look like?

Vox.com showed us what the routines of life look like from inside the human body, as captured by MRI machines

The Verge visited Colon, a small town in Michigan where magicians from all over the world gather once a year.

Although war dominates the news, the 21st century has actually been the most peaceful one in modern history — Vox explains:

We premiered Season 2 of Small Empires, our video series about the ebbs and flows of the startup hustle, hosted by reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian.

We announced our partnership with General Atlantic with an investment that will help propel Vox Media into the future with an extra focus on expanding our video storytelling and Vox Creative.

And in December the Internet voted us as Adweek’s hottest in native advertising, and selected SB Nation as the hottest in sports media.

SB Nation

SB Nation spent 2014 breaking original news, creating engaging original video, publishing cutting-edge longform, traveling the globe, making timely and important commentary, and as always, pushing sports video games until they break (Breaking Madden, of course.)

In short, SB Nation continued to push the boundaries of sports journalism while maintaining its status as the internet’s only true sports appreciation machine.


2014 was a big year for Eater—actually the biggest year in our nine-year history. Most crucially, we relaunched the site on Chorus, introducing a new beautiful design, new features, and a new map format. I can't overstate what a huge evolution this was for us and our readers. To prep for our relaunch we spent the year staffing up to reinforce our core — news, reports, obsessive local coverage in 24 cities — and to introduce new elements to the site.

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Vox's year in review is Vox’s entire life in review. Hard as it is to believe, we're not even a year old.

Vox launched in April, two months after the team first arrived at the company. In nine weeks, we designed, built and launched an entirely new digital publication. Since turning on the lights, we've published over 7,000 articles, created 30 editorial apps, built over 12 tools, 17 snippets, 150 features, more than 100 card stacks and dozens of videos.

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2014 has been Racked's biggest year yet, and 2015 promises to be even bigger.

Racked’s traffic has grown more than 500% over the past 12 months. We’ve hired a features team, our first market editor, and an in-house photographer. We named our first engagement editor and launched a humor-driven, celebrity-focused blog within Racked named Crucial Update, which has proven to be an immense social hit.

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For Polygon, 2014 was all about refinement — finding the parts of our site that readers loved the most and putting our full weight behind them — and growth, specifically through our social media channels. We’ve also worked to expand our scope, expanding our initial focus on solely gaming to include all areas of popular culture.

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In 2014, Curbed launched its features programming, uncovering the stories behind the 22-year-old who served as Frank Lloyd Wright's trusted photographer, the 1939 World's Fair, and the life and times of Elle Decor, to name a few.

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The Verge

2014 for The Verge was all about growth and change. Our traffic went from 20m uniques to 30m, and our focus broadened to cover how technology is changing everything in the future: science, art, entertainment, politics, and fashion.

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The product team expanded dramatically in 2014, bringing on new talent to support our seven brands while innovating in feature presentation, brand advertising, agile development, and responsive design. We fully integrated the team from Racked, Eater and Curbed and experimented with newsroom development on Vox.com. The Editorially team joined us to keep iterating on our modern media stack, Chorus, and our people travelled across the country to speak at and engage in media tech community events.

In 2014 the product team:

  • Built Vox.com in 9 weeks

  • Relaunched Eater on Chorus
  • Created our native branded advertising platform, Harmony
  • Hosted our first design competition, Pixel Punch, and a product shipping panel
  • Descended on Philadelphia for our yearly all hands hack week, Vax

  • Migrated our own Product Blog to Chorus
  • Hacked up a highly successful and interesting new ad product, Prelude
  • Moved our data center across the country from Arizona to Virginia
  • Upgraded all our systems to Rails 3

  • Created over 900 ads on Hymnal, our ads creation platform

Vox Advertising & Vox Creative

Vox Advertising is connecting the biggest brands to Vox Media's audience of 155 Million monthly readers and viewers. In 2014 we worked with over 450 of the biggest marketers in the world to help our clients build custom advertising experiences that are as appealing, engaging and powerful as the editorial and video content across our own brands.

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Vox Media Editorial Press Highlights

Vox Media Ventures into General News and News Analysis with Vox.com — Washington Post

Eater’s Redesign Is a Test For Chorus — Adweek

The Verge Goes Beyond Gadgets for Mass Appeal — Digiday

President Obama Reads Vox.com — Capital New York

"I Am Royce White" and "Ra'Shede's Road” receive 2014 honors from the American Society of Journalists & Authors.

The Verge receives an ASME nomination for their original video accompanying a story about Carmen Tarleton, who received a face transplant.

Vox.com is named one of the 50 Best Websites of 2014 — Time

Veteran Racked editors, Leslie Price and Izzy Grinspan are promoted to Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor, respectively. — Fishbowl NY

Emily Yoshida (formerly Grantland) joins the Verge as Entertainment Editor and Nitasha Tiku (formerly Valleywag) joins as our new senior writer on the west coast. — Media Bistro / Business Insider

Eater Editor-in-Chief Amanda Kludt is named one of New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women — NY Daily News

SB Nation has 6 accounts on the Sports Illustrated Twitter 100 List — Sports Illustrated

Sports management and media executive Casey Wasserman joins Vox Media's board of directors. — Hollywood Reporter

Jonathan Hunt (former Global Marketing Director at VICE) joins Vox Media as VP of Global Marketing and Partnerships. — Adweek

On the heels of a partnership with General Atlantic, Vox Media CEO and Chairman Jim Bankoff discusses the trajectory and future of Vox Media. — The Washington Post

Lindsay Nelson (founder of Slate's agency arm SlateCustom) joins Vox Media to lead Vox Creative. — The New York Times

Ezra Klein (Vox.com's Editor-in-Chief) and Jim Bankoff chat with Charlie Rose about the genesis of Vox.com. — Charlie Rose