Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Likes Sound of SpinMedia's Music Brands

The media group that operates both The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard magazine announced on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire four of SpinMedia's music assets, including some of the most storied music brands: Spin, Vibe, Stereogum and Death and Taxes.

The buyer, controlled by Prometheus Global Media, did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

The acquisition will boost the purchaser's revenue to more than $100 million a year, two-thirds of which will come from digital and video, according to the media group. The deal also will create the world's largest music brand by digital traffic, social reach and audience share, it said, allowing the company to essentially own the music space.

SpinMedia Chief Executive Stephen Blackwell will become chief strategy officer for the acquired company, reporting to Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group Co-president John Amato.

"One of the challenges in today's media environment is how do you remain relevant, so by combining these business brands and in particular by focusing on the music space, I think strategically the deal makes sense," said David Braun, founder and CEO of Capstone Strategic, an investment banking and financial advisory firm that focuses on merger and acquisition services.

The deal comes amid a surge of acquisition activity in the entertainment, media and communications space, as many firms have viewed the monetization of digital advertising and consolidation of digital content as essential to weathering a decline in print advertising and other traditional channels of revenue in the industry.

"You are going to see companies continue working to get bigger so that they can remain viable and profitable in these spaces. It's very difficult to remain small and independent," said Braun, who also wrote Successful Acquisitions: A Proven Plan for Strategic Growth.

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