The Athletic

Niche media becoming a norm

Niche media outlets are having their moment, with cross-vertical topics experiencing new room for growth.

Where it stands: The Athletic, a digital sports news subscription service, has reached more than 500,000 subscribers and expects nearly 1 million globally by year's end, thanks to heavy investments being made in the U.K.

Exclusive: The Athletic's next arena is in podcasting

Photo: The Athletic's Twitter

The Athletic, a subscription-based digital sports media company, is launching a multi-million dollar podcasting business. Over 20 exclusive, ad-free podcasts will debut behind the company's subscription paywall on its app and website on Tuesday. The podcasts will be produced in-house by a team of 12 new hires.

Why it matters: The sports podcasting space has become more crowded over the past few years, with digital upstarts like Barstool Sports, The Ringer and SB Nation, in addition to TV sports giants like Fox Sports and ESPN, all launching new podcasts. The Athletic is hoping to differentiate itself by focusing on quality, hyper-localized podcasts that live only behind a paywall.