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Business news site Quartz is getting ready to launch a subscription business will remain free. But it’s working on a research product.

The Euro Comes Under Increasing Pressure Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Quartz, the business news site owned by Atlantic Media, gives away its global economics coverage to anyone who wants to click. It says it attracts about 20 million visitors a month.

Now, Quartz is getting ready to charge money for some of its stuff: While the main site will remain free, Quartz is working on a subscription product, says Editor in Chief Kevin Delaney.

Delaney won’t go into details about what that product is, how much it will cost or when it will launch. But Quartz has given a hint by announcing the purchase of, a small research firm that specialized in artificial intelligence.

Quartz says founders Dave and Helen Edwards will write for the site for now, but will eventually be part of a “new specialized product aimed at providing global business professionals with valuable insights into how AI affects their organizations.”

So, Quartz is going to launch a dedicated AI research service? Not exactly, says Delaney. But, he said, “there’s an opportunity to build something that’s adjacent in the coverage area” to what Quartz is already doing.

The Edwardses used to charge $250 a year for their service, but Delaney, again, won’t say how much the Quartz product will cost.

Okay. How much is Quartz making from its free site, plus its popular newsletter, plus its conferences? Delaney is happy to talk about that.

Just kidding! But last year, Ad Age pegged the four-year-old company’s annual revenue at $30 million.

So, to sum up: Quartz appears to have a nice business fueled primarily by digital advertising. But like many companies that rely on digital advertising, it would like to have other revenue sources, including ones where consumers pay it directly.

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