Vox Media predicts the media giants of tomorrow are being built on the belief that community and authority are essential to creating content that cuts through the clutter of the web and resonates with readers worldwide.
The so-called “media slap” that Vox refers propels empire that has grown since 2003 to rein seven sites with over 400 paid writers. While Vox Media claims it has held this digital-led approach to content since its inception, it predicts that others are now starting to adopt this idea and disrupt the status quo of more traditional publishers.
Chad Mumm, creative director at Vox Media and one of the speakers at The Drum’s Media Slap event next week (23 April), said the “disruptiveness of that idea is fuelling the next generation of great media brands”.
“The slap that started it all [for Vox Media]; we never had to ask permission to build our brands on the web, we just hit "publish" and could reach an audience instantly all over the world.”
The attitude stems from the need to stand out in a content-driven publishing arena that has no place for the print sensibilities many titles still cling to. Vox Media has been a champion of fusing the hacking culture of the online with the authoritative sensibilities of print and champions for content to go for social ubiquity in order to reach the maximum eyeballs.
It is part of the reason titles like Loaded have fallen by the wayside in the digital rush, claimed Mumm, while others have been able to ride the hurdles due to their print titles giving readers value beyond just conveying information.
“Print feels like a luxury product, there's something nice and tangible about a magazine or a newspaper in your hands but as a medium for conveying information it is inefficient,” said Mumm. “But there are plenty of inefficient products that remain successful because consumers like them and/or value them as a means of self-expression. This seems to be a possible future for the print magazine. More Monocle, less Loaded.”
Mumm, who has previously worked at Endgadget and AOL, heads up the publisher’s entertainment division where he is tasked with expanding its online video offering. Not content with being known for just its editorial, Vox Media wants to become a programming company too in an attempt to capitalise one of the fastest growing media channels today.
It is this love affair readers and subsequently advertisers are having with video that will form of the crux of his presentation next week, exploring the role of data and technology in making it a more valuable.
The Drum is running Media Slap, a conference on 23 April which looks at sustainable publishing models in the digital age. For more information visit the Media Slap website.