Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Vox Media Studios website

Vox Media Studios, the video and audio production arm of Vox Media, is planning to bring in $100 million in 2021 revenue while producing twice as many shows as 2020, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.

Why it matters: Vox Media hasn't been immune from the pandemic’s financial headwinds on digital publishers, but the studios revenue would be a huge number for the company, which reportedly expected $300 million in overall 2020 revenue.

  • Vox Media has experienced some growing pains while maturing from a startup to a 1,200-staffer corporation, including high-profile departures and revenue pressure.
  • Its studios business has remained a bright spot for the company. Today, 60 people work for Vox Media Studios full-time, with some additional project-based employees for certain show-teams.

Details: Vox Media Studios, led by president Marty Moe and head of entertainment Chad Mumm, plans to double its slate of programming to roughly 20 shows, spanning 8 distributors, including Hulu, Netflix, YouTube Originals, AppleTV +, HBO and more, per sources familiar with the company's plans.

  • Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff told Axios in an interview last month that the company has inked a show with HBO tied to its Vox editorial brand.
  • On Wednesday, Netflix announced a new partnership with meditation app Headspace for three new shows, all of which will be produced by Vox Media Studios.

Amid the pandemic, Vox Media's studios business has launched six new shows — three within Vox's "Explained" franchise with Netflix.

  • Some of its other well-known streaming franchises include "Eater’s Guide to the World" on Hulu, narrated by comedian Maya Rudolph, its Emmy-nominated YouTube Originals series "Glad You Asked" and "Little America," on Apple TV+.
  • Vox Media Studios acquired "Epic," a Hollywood production company focused on scripted adaptations of journalism and true stories in 2019. Epic brought with it Little America, a scripted TV series on Apple TV+ that's produced by Universal.
  • With the exception of the Eater's Hulu series, which just debuted in November, all the aforementioned series have announced renewals for 2021.

The big picture: Vox Media's production arm was created four years ago as Vox Entertainment. It was rebranded last year as Vox Media Studios, when the company acquired Hollywood production company Epic. It also houses Vox Media's podcast network, which produces over 200 podcasts annually and brings in around eight figures.

  • Unlike most digital media companies, Vox Media doesn't outsource the production or development of any of its streaming or TV content.
  • It created its own studio in-house so that it could have more editorial and production control over its shows, and so that it could take a higher cut of the profits. Sources say the Vox Media Studios business is itself a profitable entity within Vox Media. 

The independent studio model has also helped Vox Media establish credibility in Hollywood. Netflix, for example, came to Vox Media Studios to produce its new shows with Headspace.

  • Still, most of its shows are based off of editorial from Vox Media's 13 brands — seven acquired last year via its merger with New York Media. Those brands include Vox, Eater, Recode, The Verge, Polygon and SB Nation, New York Magazine, The Cut, The Strategist, Curbed, Grub Street, the Intelligencer and Vulture.

What's next: In the future, Vox Media Studios wants to start building out more TV and streaming franchises for brands it acquired via the New York Media merger, like New York Magazine, as well as some of its original Vox Media brands, like The Verge.

  • The company is also looking to expand from producing mostly its own shows to producing more for other companies.

Go deeper

Scoop: Ex-CNN executive starts media venture for communities of color

S. Mitra Kalita (L) and Sara Lomax-Reese. Photo: Courtesy of S. Mitra Kalita

Former CNN executive S. Mitra Kalita and Philadelphia radio executive Sara Lomax-Reese have launched a newsletter seeking to expand local news on Black and brown communities to national audiences.

Why it matters: Some ethnic newspapers and local news sites focusing on people of color have suffered in recent years. The URL Media newsletter wants to bring their unique content together to attract big advertisers and facilitate underreported news.

German elections: After close result, jockeying to replace Merkel begins

Data: Preliminary results from German Federal Returning Officer; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s elections, 10 seats ahead of the Christian Democrats (CDU), which failed to finish top for the first time in 16 years.

State of play: SPD leader Olaf Scholz has said he’ll seek to form a government, but so too has Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader.

2 hours ago - Health

Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on live television

President Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot on live television on Monday, while also urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended Pfizer booster shots for millions of people, including those 65 years and older and individuals at high-risk of severe COVID-19.