clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Vox Media acquires Cafe Studios, Preet Bharara’s podcast-first media company

The deal accelerates growth at the Vox Media Podcast Network and expands Vox Media’s subscription offerings, events business, and expert voices on the law, policy, and business 

Vox Media, the leading independent modern media company, today announced the acquisition of Cafe Studios, the podcast-first publisher that explores how law and policy intersect with politics, news, business, history, and technology. Since its founding in 2017, Cafe has developed a slate of high-quality podcasts, including its flagship Stay Tuned with Preet, from Cafe co-founder, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and New York Times bestselling author Preet Bharara. Cafe Studios is also known for the Insider membership, a fast-growing subscription program that offers tens of thousands of listeners exclusive podcasts, newsletters, articles, and live events. The deal continues to build and scale the Vox Media Podcast Network, one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most topically diverse collections of premium podcasts.

Cafe Studios is Vox Media’s fourth recent merger or acquisition; since 2019, the company has acquired Epic, the film, television, audio, and production studio; acquired Coral, the inclusive commenting platform; and merged with the publisher of the iconic, 53-year-old New York Magazine and influential digital properties including the Cut and Vulture. During that time, the company has expanded the Vox Media Podcast Network by launching new shows such as Chicano Squad, Vox’s Unexplainable, and Recode’s Land of the Giants, and welcoming popular programs including Switched on Pop and Scott Galloway’s The Prof G Show.

“Preet and his team at Cafe have built a successful podcast studio with a compelling perspective — and an equally impressive community of devoted listeners,” says Vox Media Chairman, CEO, and co-founder Jim Bankoff. “Bringing Cafe into the Vox Media Podcast Network is aligned with our goal of delivering high-quality editorial content at scale and providing audiences highly relevant voices and insights.”

Cafe Studios is an independent podcast-focused company initially co-founded by Preet and his brother Vinit Bharara, a serial entrepreneur who founded Some Spider Studios and Diapers.com. Preet Bharara and Tamara Sepper, who serves as the Executive Producer and Head of Content, will join Vox Media along with a team of podcast hosts, producers, and product developers. Cafe will operate as a division of the Vox Media Podcast Network, seamlessly continuing to produce its active slate of shows, with new shows in development this year. Vox Media will also continue to invest in growing the Insider membership program and will explore additional membership opportunities across the Vox Media Podcast Network.

“This is an opportunity for tremendous growth with a company that shares in Cafe’s mission, values, and commitment to quality,” says Bharara. “Our creators are bursting at the seams with plans for more thoughtful, educational content and, in Vox Media, we earn a partner with a large audience, strategic business, and a strong reach across text, video, and events.”

Vox Media Podcast Network is home to more than 200 premium podcasts, with award-winning shows across news, technology, business, culture, politics, sports, and more, and top audio talent such as Today, Explained’s Sean Rameswaram, Decoder’s Nilay Patel, and Pivot co-hosts Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. The acquisition of Cafe Studios adds to the network’s roster of thought leaders with podcast hosts including Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Anne Milgram, former Attorney General of New Jersey; and Elie Honig, former Co-Head of the Southern District’s Organized Crime Unit.

Bharara will expand on Cafe’s editorial vision and his partnership with Vox Media during the Vox Media Podcast Network’s presentation at the IAB Upfronts on May 10, 2021.

About Cafe Studios
Cafe Studios is a podcast-first media company that creates and distributes premium content filtered through the lens of the law. The company’s mission is to better inform the public about the most critical issues of our time by exploring how law and justice intersect with politics, national security, technology and beyond. Its free and paid offerings include podcasts, columns and events hosted and written by the foremost experts in their fields. The company was founded by Vinit Bharara (co-founder of Diapers.com and founder of Some Spider Studios) and Preet Bharara (former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York).

About Vox Media
Vox Media is the leading independent modern media company. For a decade, the company has remained at the forefront of the media industry by building successful brands, a suite of sophisticated publishing and marketing technologies, and a culture that prioritizes diversity, inclusivity, and equity.

Our portfolio features the most relevant and respected editorial properties including Vox, New York Magazine, The Verge, The Cut, Eater, Vulture, The Strategist, Polygon, SB Nation, Intelligencer, Curbed, Grub Street, and Recode. Today, audiences can hear many industry-leading editorial voices, from these newsrooms and beyond, on the Vox Media Podcast Network — Adweek’s 2020 “Podcast Network of the Year.” From daily news, tech, and culture to sports and narrative storytelling, the Vox Media Podcast Network is one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most topically diverse collections of premium podcasts.

The company is also home to the award-winning nonfiction production and distribution studio, Vox Media Studios, along with innovative technology that powers the business: the Concert advertising marketplace, Chorus technology platform, and Coral commenting tools.