What a year in media. Prime-time's drama queen Shonda Rhimes—plus literally anything HBO did—kept us from cutting the cord. Netflix, Instagram and Minecraft continued to dominate our digital lives, while apps like Uber, Tinder and Kik achieved must-have status. Jack Ma—who led his e-commerce behemoth, China's Alibaba, to a $25 billion IPO—earned his place as our Media Visionary for 2014. Print, yet again, proved that it is as relevant as ever, with a nearly 150-year-old magazine, fashion icon Harper’s Bazaar, trucking out its fattest issue ever and earning the title Magazine of the Year. This, as the inescapable Kim Kardashian broke the Internet not once but twice after appearing on the covers of Vogue, then Paper.
For our annual ranking of the hottest media brands and media people, Adweek's editors and staff weighed in on those doing the most outstanding job of building audience, business and buzz. Advertising and newsstand results, ratings, downloads, cultural influence—we spent weeks considering these and other metrics to arrive at this list. And once again, we asked you to pick your own favorites in our Readers’ Choice poll. That you did. A record 3.2 million votes were cast at Adweek.com between Sept. 1 and Dec. 3. (A shout-out to Hot List's most devoted followers, the “Bronies,” who helped make The Hub’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic the Readers’ Choice for Hottest Kids Show—doing their damnedest to help us break the Internet.) Now, presenting the winners of this year's Hot List and Readers’ Choice.
The 2014 Hot List winners: