Vox Media

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Vox Media Inc.
Vox-Media.png
Type Private
Founded 2011 (2011)
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Area served International
Founder(s) Jerome Armstrong
Tyler Bleszinski
Markos Moulitsas
Key people Jim Bankoff
Employees 400 +
Website www.voxmedia.com
Alexa rank negative increase 31,691 (April 2014)[1]
Type of site News and blogging
Registration Optional
Users 17 million +
Available in English

Vox Media Inc. (previously known as Sports Blogs, Inc and publicly known as Vox) is an American digital media company that currently has seven editorial brands: SB Nation, The Verge, Polygon, Curbed, Eater, and Racked. The latest of them is "Vox.com" (formerly codenamed "Project X"), launched on April 6, 2014. All Vox Media sites are built on Chorus, its proprietary digital publishing platform.[2]

Vox is headquartered near DuPont Circle, Washington, D.C and across from Bryant Park, in New York City. Founded in 2003 as SportsBlogs, Inc., by political strategist Jerome Armstrong, freelance writer Tyler Bleszinski, and Markos Moulitsas (creator of Daily Kos), the network now features over 300 sites with over 400 paid writers.[3][4]

Former AOL programming chief Jim Bankoff became chairman and CEO of Vox Media Inc in 2008.[5] Trei Brundrett is Chief Product Officer. Marty Moe is Chief Operating Officer and Group Publisher, and Joe Purzycki VP of National Sales.[6]

Funding[edit]

The Washington, D.C.-based company raised about $70 million in total funding, led by Accel Partners in 2008, Comcast Interactive Capital in 2009, Khosla Ventures in 2010, and all three participating for Series in 2012 and 2013. Other funders are Allen & Company, Providence Equity Partners, and various angel investors, including Ted Leonsis, Dan Rosensweig, Jeff Weiner, and Brent Jones.[4][7][8] According to sources, the Series C in May 2012, valued Vox at $140 million.[9] A Series D valued the company north of $200M, raising an additional $40M[10]

Editorial brands[edit]

Vox’s strategy goes deep in verticals, building big consumer media brands in major categories. Rather than uniting all of their brands under one portal through assigned tabs, Vox unites them through technology, using its proprietary modern media Chorus that integrates design with creative brand advertising products. Instead of homepages, Vox’s audiences are built through community engagement. Vox's strategy is to own the leading category authorities in each vertical. After launching over 300 sports blogs (SBNation), they added tech (The Verge) in 2011, and gaming (Polygon) verticals in 2012. Vox then acquired the Curbed Network, adding verticals in real estate (Curbed), food (Eater), and fashion (Racked), in 2013.[11][12]

SB Nation[edit]

SBNation.com is a sports network focuses on developing content on the web, offering over 300[13] websites, each with its own name, URL, brand, community focus, writers, and guidelines. The sports network covers most or all teams in MLB, the NBA, NFL, MLS, and NHL, as well as NASCAR, MMA, college sports, pro cycling, and other sports.

At a DC-based kickoff event in February 2009, there were about 185 blogs. ComScore, the Reston, Virginia-based tracker of consumer Internet habits, tallied 5.8 million unique visitors to SB Nation Web sites during the month of November 2010. That 208 percent increase over the 1.9 million unique visitors in November 2009 made SB Nation the fastest growing sports Web site the company tracked at the time.[14] As of December, 2010, SB Nation had 12 million unique visitors and over 100 million page views monthly, according to CEO Jim Bankoff. Expansion includes mobile and going global, into the "European Premier (soccer) League." [15] As of March, 2011, Vox Media's SB Nation had grown to more than 300 separate web sites maintained primarily by part-time contract writers. They put together posts, facilitate dialogue and interact with commenters. As of November 2012, ComScore reported that there were 130 million people in the U.S. who accessed sports news online in October. ESPN's 45 million unique visitors still exceeded SB Nation’s 9.4 million, but ESPN lost 5 million visitors year-over-year, while SB Nation grew by 20%.[9] As of June, 2013, Vox says that SB Nation has reached 50 million unique visitors per month and 190 million monthly page views, and has more than 70,000 Twitter followers (@SBNation) and almost 67,000 likes on Facebook.[16]

In February, 2011, SB Nation hired Rob Neyer away from ESPN, where he had worked for 15 years in what CEO Jim Bankoff called a "high profile hire".[17] On March 30, 2011 SB Nation launched Baseball Nation.[18] Baseball Nation features writers Jason Brannon, Carson Cistulli, editors Rob Neyer, Jeff Sullivan and Grant Brisbee.

The Verge[edit]

Main article: The Verge

The Verge is a technology news and media network operated by Vox Media with offices in Manhattan, New York. The site launched on November 1, 2011. The network publishes news items, long form feature stories, product reviews, podcasts, and an entertainment show. The network's content is managed by its editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky, managing editor Nilay Patel, and Vox Media's chief content officer Marty Moe.[19]

Joshua Topolsky was the editor of Engadget until March 2011. Topolsky and eight of the more prominent editorial and technology staff members (including Nilay Patel, Ross Miller, Joanna Stern, Chris Ziegler, Paul Miller, Vlad Savov, Justin Glow, and Dan Chilton) at Engadget left AOL to join SB Nation to build a new tech and gadget site.[20] While Topolsky and his team were developing the new site, a 'placeholder' site called This Is My Next was created to allow them to continue writing articles and producing podcasts.[21] In a reference to the new website Topolsky is quoted as saying, “We’re not trying to be Twitter or Facebook, as in this new thing people are using, we want to be something that is just the evolved version of what we have been doing.” [22] The new technology network—The Verge—launched on November 1, 2011.[23][24] It was also announced that Scott Lowe, from IGN Tech, would be joining Vox.

The Verge launched in November 2011. One year later in October 2012, comScore reported that The Verge had 3.1 million unique U.S. visitors. Gawker Media’s Gizmodo, by comparison, had 6.5 million unique visits, and AOL’s Engadget, had 6.3 million.[25]

Polygon[edit]

Main article: Polygon (website)

In early January 2012, Vox hired Chris Grant, editor-in-chief of Joystiq, to launch a new gaming site with Vox. Also hired were Brian Crecente, editor-in-chief of Kotaku, and Russ Pitts, editor-in-chief of The Escapist, to run the site, along with Justin and Griffin McElroy, Chris Plante, Arthur Gies, and Russ Frushtick, and Tracey Lien and Emily Gera for the roles of Senior Reporter, Australia & Senior Reporter, UK, respectively.[citation needed]

Vox, which had previously stated that "Vox Games" was merely a placeholder until the project was ready to separate itself from being a Gaming hub on The Verge to a fully-fledged independent website, revealed on April 6, 2012, that the gaming site would be named Polygon.[26] On October 25, 2012 Polygon launched under its own name.[27] The site features responsive web design (which SB Nation has had since its relaunch in mid-2012) and long feature articles.

Curbed[edit]

Curbed is a real-estate/home website that reaches beyond New York City to publish in 32 markets across the U.S. and Canada.

Eater[edit]

A food/dining website that chronicles restaurants and nightlife.

Racked[edit]

A retail/shopping website which covers style.

Vox.com[edit]

In January 2014, Vox announced they had hired Ezra Klein, who formerly served as the editor of the Washington Post's WonkBlog, to be the founder of a new website covering news and politics, codenamed "Project X" and later adopting the simple name Vox. Klein explained in an announcement on The Verge that he felt that current news websites did not provide enough context to the stories they cover, and that he aimed to create a news website that would be "as good at explaining the world as it is at reporting on it".[28][29] Project X officially launched as Vox on April 6, 2014; its goal is to cover stories dynamically without succumbing to the "incremental" coverage used by traditional outlets, and to "[deliver] crucial context alongside new information" through "cards" that can be accessed through highlighted words within articles.

Klein serves as editor-in-chief of Vox; among its initial staff members are his colleagues from the Post, including Melissa Bell, Matthew Yglesias, and Dylan Matthews.[28][30]

Vox received criticism during the 2014 Israel-Gaza crisis for allegedly biased and inaccurate reporting, especially the assertion by Vox writer Zack Beauchamp that there existed a bridge between the West Bank and Gaza.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amsu.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  2. ^ Leslie Kaufman, "Vox Takes Melding of Journalism and Technology to a New Level," The New York Times, April 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Plambeck, Joeseph (June 6, 2010). "Sports-Centric Web Sites Expand, and Bias Is Welcome". New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b Kerr, Ronny (Nov 8, 2010). "Sports blog and news network continues its rise". Vator.tv. 
  5. ^ http://voxmedia.com/announcement.html
  6. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (Jan 16, 2013). "Vox Media Announces Head Honchos". Media Bistro. 
  7. ^ "Blog network SportsBlog Nation scores funding". CNET.com. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  8. ^ Ali, Rafat (16 July 2009). "Sports Blog Site SBNation Gets $8 Million More, From Comcast And Others". Paid Content. Retrieved 2010-11-14. 
  9. ^ a b Solomon, Brian (6 December 2012). "Meet The Digital Upstart That Thinks Millions Of Rowdy Fans Are The Future Of The Web". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  10. ^ "Vox Media aims to obtain USD40 million funding via Accel Partners". VC Post. 16 Oct 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  11. ^ Steigrad, Alexandra (11 November 2013). "Vox Media Acquires Curbed.com". WWD. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  12. ^ McKenzie, Hamish (13 Nov 2013). "Is Vox Media’s Curbed acquisition a death knock for portals?". VC Post. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  13. ^ "SB Nation Network". sbnation.com. 24 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  14. ^ Overly, Steven (20 December 2010). "SB Nation's sports blogger collective sees bias as a plus". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  15. ^ "The New Game in Sports Journalism: SB Nation Claims 100 Million Monthly Views- Going Global with Soccer Coverage". Beet.tv. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-08. 
  16. ^ "Vox Media says design helps charge SB Nation". New York Business Journal. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  17. ^ Rovell, Darren (February 1, 2011). "One of the Originals, Rob Neyer, Leaves ESPN.com for SB Nation". CNBC.com. Archived from the original on February 1, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Introducing ... Baseball Nation". SB Nation. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  19. ^ "CORRECTING and REPLACING SB Nation Announces The Verge To Launch This Fall". businesswire.com. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  20. ^ Carr, David (April 3, 2011). "Team From Engadget Makes Jump to SB Nation". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ http://thisismynext.com/
  22. ^ http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/05/topolsky-and-bankoff-on-engadget-sb-nation-and-the-new-tech-site-thats-bringing-them-together/
  23. ^ With The Verge, SB Nation looks beyond just gadgets - Fortune Tech
  24. ^ Twitter
  25. ^ Roberts, Jeff John (12 December 2012). "Vox Media says the Verge is "very profitable" after one year". Paid Content. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  26. ^ Grant, Christopher (6 Apr 2012). "Vox Games is dead. Welcome, Polygon". Polygon. Vox Media. 
  27. ^ Grant, Christopher (24 Oct 2012). "Welcome to Polygon! It's a website (finally)". Polygon. Vox Media. 
  28. ^ a b Klein, Ezra (26 Jan 2014). "Vox is our next". The Verge. Vox Media. 
  29. ^ Stelter, Brian (27 Jan 2014). "The business behind Ezra Klein's 'Project X'". CNN Money. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  30. ^ "Vox Takes Melding of Journalism and Technology to a New Level". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  31. ^ "Vox’s Motto Should Be ‘Explaining The News Incorrectly, Repeatedly". The Federalist. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 

External links[edit]