Vox Media CEO Thinks Companies Are Missing the Boat Tech-Wise: There’s More Than Streaming TV (Audio)

·3 min read
TheWrap

Vox Media CEO and co-founder Jim Bankoff thinks media conglomerates are missing the boat tech-wise by focusing solely on streaming, an area where he says substantial attention and capital from the likes of Disney, CBS, Viacom and Warner Bros. Discovery has gone.

“There is more to media than streaming TV,” Bankoff said on the inaugural episode of TheWrap’s “Tech vs Media” podcast with host Richard Wolpert, noting that companies like Vox Media, TikTok, Spotify and Twitch are great examples of media companies spreading their resources across the board.

“There’s a lot of different trends in consumption that are happening,” he said, pointing to the growing popularity of video gaming, the metaverse and e-commerce.

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Though Bankoff notes that these media companies specialize in entertainment and are focused on streaming “for good reason,” he positions Vox Media as a “modern media company” rather than a digital media company due to the brand’s emphasis on breaking into modern technology and culture.

“What are the modern consumption platforms where we need to be?” Bankoff asked. “How do we show up there for audiences for business purposes and have strength there? How do we operate our culture in a modern way? How do we operate our business in a modern way? That’s really been our focus.”

As opposed to legacy media brands like The New York Times, Bankoff notes that Vox Media is not “burdened by any legacy” and has “more bandwidth to think about the future.” For the CEO, this forward-thinking mindset means identifying “wherever modern media consumers are” and how to expand existing brands to get onto these platforms, a process that led to New York Magazine’s “Sex Diaries” on HBO Max, a PGA tour-focused show launching on Netflix and popular news show “NowThis” on TikTok, which Bankoff suspects is the main way Gen Zers get their news.

Listen to the episode below.

Episode highlights:

  • Bankoff breaks down how Vox Media runs its wide range of brands, from Eater to Vulture

  • Bankoff reflects on covering the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court and the testimony of Anita Hill as a production assistant back in his early days

  • Bankoff delves into recent mergers like Group Nine, which the media conglomerate acquired to get stronger on social media, and the process of incorporating each brand into their existing promotional strategy

  • Bankoff explains why he prefers the term “modern media company” rather than a digital media company

  • Bankoff notes the importance of “playing the game the right way” by taking a long-term approach to emerging social media platforms to create quality content, even if it costs more

  • Bankoff shares his take on how media companies stack up heavily fought streaming wars and what other aspects of innovation to look out for

About “Tech vs Media”

On each episode of “Tech vs Media,” host Richard Wolpert — who has decades of technology and media experience as an executive, founder of tech companies, venture capitalist and philanthropist — and one his esteemed guests will divulge enlightening lessons and give their insightful perspective on the movers, creators, disruptors and innovations that are shaping the future of media and technology and how these industries will intertwine with one another.

New episodes of “Tech vs Media” drop weekly. Click here to listen to the first episode.

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