Some of our readers may be familiar with Complex Media, the internet pop culture group responsible for sites like skater haven Green Label and foodie site First We Feast. Not long ago, they were invested in to the tune of $21 million by multinational media and culture icon Hearst. Back in March, Verizon and Hearst started up a joint venture, Verizon Hearst Media Partners, that, among other purposes, is set to reshape both companies and regain ground with the “cool” crowd who have, for the most part, moved on to app-based media and video consumption. It is exactly this crop of users that Verizon Hearst Media Partners hopes to court with their planned acquisition of Complex Media, priced between $250 million and $300 million.
Verizon’s efforts to hit the sweet spot with the gigantic chunk of “hip” users that flock to websites like Buzzfeed and apps like Snapchat have so far resulted in the buyout of AOL, along with the release of their “Go90” exclusive video platform. Already armed with sites like Engadget and the video rights to primetime shows and video libraries from the likes of Machinima, their deal with Hearst and today’s buyup of Complex Media will give them a stable of new sites and new video content for Go90, allowing them to tap just a bit deeper into the pool of millennial ad revenue they’ve been shooting for in recent months. These moves may also point to the development of dedicated apps or incorporation into Verizon’s current fare in the near future.
Brian Angiolet, senior VP of consumer marketing for Verizon, spoke about the buyout, saying of Complex Media, “When we look at Complex and how well they’ve built audiences by championing the digital convergence of cultures for well over a decade, it pairs well with our strategic vision and current shifts in content consumption,”. This gives us a bit of a glimpse into Verizon’s planned strategy to increase their cloud and widen their audience by taking advantage of new trends like emerging platforms, media convergence and social media swings. The deal was announced today, but no exact timeline was given for when it may reach fruition and allow Verizon to begin tapping and developing from Complex Media’s content platforms.