NewBay Acquires Future US Music Division
Future US, Inc, the San-Franscisco-based subsidiary of Future plc, has sold its US Music Division, a package that includes Guitar World, Revolver and Guitar Aficionado and related websites and events, to NewBay Media LLC for $3 million.
The sale of the US Music Division makes NewBay Media the world's leading publisher of guitar magazines digital media, and events, with more than five million music professionals and enthusiasts subscribed monthly, the company said in a press release announcing the deal.
"These titles, and the talented team behind them, represent the pinnacle of guitar enthusiast publishing, and we are thrilled to welcome them into the NewBay family," Steve Palm, CEO of NewBay Media stated in a press release. "This acquisition furthers our goal to offer our readers and advertisers unparalleled depth and breadth within the music and pro audio communities."
NewBay already publishes music brands Guitar Player, Bass Player, Keyboard, Electronic Musician, Mix, Pro Audio Review, Audio Media, and Pro Sound News.
As the leading guitar magazine in the world, Guitar World features artist interviews, gear reviews, guitar news and transcriptions of all popular genres. Revolver is a heavy metal rock magazine that covers the industry's artists, bands and lifestyle trends. Guitar Aficionado is the first magazine to marry lifestyle luxury and guitar enthusiasm. Marking 2012 as its third year up and running, the publication also produces the Golden Gods Awards, Rock & Roll Roast and other events.
" ... [T]here is only a 5 percent reader overlap between Guitar Player and Guitar World, so clearly people come to these titles for different reasons and we will continue to serve all those readers," Anthony Savona, NewBay's vice president of communications, told Publishing Executive. Savona said the company would continue to produce Guitar World's popular Lick of the Day app and will be "looking to develop more apps and mobile products" for the newly-acquired titles.
The Jordan, Edminston Group, Inc (JEGI) represented Future and helped negotiate the terms of sale between the two companies. According to a press release from JEGI, Future plc sold its US Music Division in an effort to reduce its scale of exposure to the U.S. Future reported in November that its U.S. revenues were down 13 percent in 2011 from the previous year, compared to two percent in its core market of Britain. CEO Mark Wood told The Guardian at the time that the company had "no plans at all to sell ... off" its U.S. subsidiary.
As an international special-interest media group, Future plc publishes 200 different magazines, apps, web sites and events. Future plc is the U.K.'s leading exporter and licensor of magazine content, as it exports publications to 89 countries.
"The sale represents a big step forward in our strategy to streamline our U.S. business and return it to profitability by 2013," Wood said in yesterday's JEGI press release. "The merger of our mainstream U.S. operations and our U.K. business is on track, and we are making good progress in reducing costs."
NewBay's acquisition of the US Music Division marks the company's fifth major purchase in the past decade, including the United Business Media's CMP Entertainment Media division in September 2006, IMAS in July 2007, Reed Business Information-US in December 2009 and Penton in February 2011.