Vox Media today announced it’s entering an agreement to acquire Hot Pod, the preeminent publication covering the podcasting industry, founded by Nicholas Quah in 2014. At Vox Media, Hot Pod will become part of The Verge, with Quah deepening his long-running relationship with New York and Vulture as a full-time podcast critic.
Senior reporter Ashley Carman will take over as lead writer of Hot Pod for The Verge, expanding Carman’s must-read coverage of podcasting and audio. The acquisition also marks The Verge’s first paid product as it will continue to publish Hot Pod’s weekly subscriber-only newsletter Hot Pod Insider, laying the groundwork for more paid Verge products in the future.
“I can’t think of a better home for Hot Pod than The Verge,” says The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel. “The story of the podcast industry is the story of technology and culture colliding, and Ashley is the perfect reporter to take it over and bring it everything The Verge can offer. As long-time fans of Hot Pod, we’re excited to keep growing the community Nick has fostered.”
“Stepping away from Hot Pod is, of course, bittersweet, but I have absolute faith that The Verge will build a great future for the publication and its readership,” says Quah. “And I’m excited to join some of the best writers in the world at Vulture. I’ll try to keep up.”
At New York and Vulture, Quah will shift his focus from podcast industry coverage to writing more frequent reviews, essays, interviews, and process features, while continuing to publish his weekly recommendations newsletter 1.5x Speed. At New York and Vulture, Quah joins a roster of must-read critics, including Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Saltz and Justin Davidson; 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist Craig Jenkins; critics Angelica Jade Bastién and Kathryn VanArendonk; movie critics Alison Willmore and Bilge Ebiri; and TV critics Matt Zoller Seitz and Jen Chaney.
“Since he began covering the audio business, Nick emerged as a thoughtful and incisive voice on a rapidly expanding industry,” says Vulture editor Neil Janowitz. “Over the years, he has spoken with creators about their work and put a spotlight on deserving shows. I’m excited to formalize our relationship with Nick, and look forward to publishing more of his writing.”
This marks the sixth acquisition or merger for Vox Media in recent years, including its merger with New York Media and the 2021 acquisitions of drinks publication Punch and Preet Bharara’s podcast studio Cafe.