Podcast-focused news site Hot Pod will become The Verge’s first pay-to-read offering thanks to an acquisition by Vox Media.
Vox, The Verge’s parent, will take the Hot Pod reins from Nicholas Quah (pictured above), who founded the site in 2014. The Verge senior writer Ashley Carman will become Hot Pod’s lead writer, while Quay will join Vox-owned Vulture as a podcast critic, Variety reports.
“Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about stepping away for a while now, but it wasn’t until this summer that the timing and conditions felt right. Seven years is an eternity. It’s time for a change,” Quay wrote in a letter to Hot Pod readers.
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He added, “I’m confident that The Verge will be a great home for Hot Pod, and that the team there, led by Nilay Patel and Helen Havlak, will build a strong future for this publication and readership.”
Quay’s new headquarters at Vulture will be a newsletter called 1.5x Speed, “and I will be producing all sorts of other things on top of that,” he said.
Vox told Variety that it plans to charge $7 per month for the Hot Pod newsletter. Anyone who subscribes will also get three months of free subscription to New York magazine, which Vox also owns.
The Verge cofounder and editor Patel told the outlet that Vox executives want to introduce more, similar editorial concepts to Hot Pod in the coming months. (So, presumably, more niche-y, subscription-based content that could attract pockets of dedicated readers.)
About plans to charge for Hot Pod, Patel said that The Verge has “in ten years amassed a huge audience, and we have never made anybody pay for anything.”
“We think this is the right product and the right audience and think Ashley [Carman] can deliver a lot of value that is worth paying for to an audience that can trade on that information,” he said. “We are looking at it as a test.”
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.