Hoping to Leverage a Larger Audience, Recode Will Relaunch on Vox.com

The new landing page debuts early next year

The tech site will soon be featured on Vox.com. - Credit by Getty Images, Recode, Vox
Headshot of Sara Jerde

Technology news website Recode, hoping to gain more clicks, will retain its staff and brand, but become a special section at sister site Vox.com under parent company Vox Media.

Vox Media, which includes a handful of other brands that offer insights in topics that range from sports to food, purchased Recode in 2015. Longtime tech journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher originally founded the company in January 2014.

No layoffs are planned to accommodate the change, though Recode will join Vox’s newsroom. The new landing page will launch early next year and Recode archives are expected to remain available. Recode, with arms in podcasts and live events, will continue to be a “distinct business,” Vox Media publisher Melissa Bell told staffers in a memo.

“The aim of this relaunch is to create a bigger, bolder Recode, using Vox’s platform, editorial support, and distribution power to amplify Recode’s work, expanding Recode’s mission to appeal to its core fans and a wider, general audience,” Bell said.

The move is a good way for Vox.com to reach a passionate tech audience without having to use additional resources to build up a new brand, said Alexei Alankin, CEO of Eventige in an email.

Alankin further said it was “a brilliant strategic move that combines the power of the Vox infrastructure with the future-focused expectations for the growth of technology and the tech-based audience expecting increasing depth of topics.”

Visitors to Recode.net decreased from 2.7 million viewers last September to 1.4 million viewers this September, according to comScore figures. Meanwhile, visitors to Vox.com increased from 16.7 million viewers last September to 30.4 million viewers this September, according to comScore.

Recode, said John Wagner, group director, published media for PHD, was “the first of its kind, but everyone knows you’ve got to evolve.”

“The business challenges that publishers face continue to mount because the dollar pool that isn’t going to the big three continues to shrink,” he added.

Vox Media also includes The Verge, SB Nation, Eater and Polygon, though there are no plans to move those properties to Vox.com for now.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.