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A Major Possible Merger, Launches, and Acquisitions for Multiplatform Publishers

Multiplatform publishers Meredith Corp. and Time Inc. talk merger; Variety launches content studio

We’re seeing movement with some major multiplatform publishers recently.

We begin by looking at a possible merger between Meredith Corp. and Time Inc.. MediaPost is reporting on this story. “After dating a few years ago, then taking some time off and seeing other companies, publishers Meredith Corp. and Time Inc. may be getting back together. At least that’s what Meredith hopes.

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“The women’s interest publisher has again approached Time Inc. about a possible merger, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news, citing an unnamed source familiar with the negotiations.”

This talk of a merger isn’t the first time Meredith Corp. and Time Inc. have considered with a merger. The article continues, “The publishers originally flirted with a merger back in 2013. That’s when the Meredith tie-up was one of several options considered by Time Inc.’s management, as the company prepared to separate from corporate parent Time Warner. Nothing came of the talks, and Time Inc. finally spun off from Time Warner by itself in 2014.”

Next, we look an article from AdAge, which discusses a new acquisition for VaynerMedia. This story showcases an example of an agency buying a publisher, and the article theorizes if this process will become a new trend in the industry. “With business partners Steven Ross and the team at RSE Ventures, VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk bought the women’s lifestyle publisher as the first property in Vayner’s newly created sibling company, The Gallery.

“It may be a model other agencies will follow, giving shops a new route to growth and some closer connections to consumers in the process. But don’t expect to see Young & Rubicam, for example, buy The New York Times.”

Some believe this model is the way to go. “Jesse Brody, partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, said the industry should “absolutely” see these types of deals carrying on in 2017. “As publishers have been aggressively been going after business that was normally solely in the realm of the agencies and creating native ad and other branded integrations, cutting out the agency altogether, it makes sense that agencies would now react in this way,” he said.

“In addition to diversifying and potentially helping agency businesses, such deals could help publishers expand content development and video capabilities quickly by borrowing from their new owners, rather than having to grow them organically, Mr. Brody added.”

Finally, we see the launch of a new content studio by Variety. MediaPost reports, “The entertainment trade Variety has launched its own branded content studio to serve brands owned by parent company PMC.

“According to the company, Variety’s content studio has been contacted by advertising clients in the entertainment industry, as well as clients like Mercedes-Benz and Delta Airlines.

“As part of the studio’s launch, senior features editor David S. Cohen, at the helm of the brand’s “Artisans” video project, has been promoted to the newly created role of digital features director. The company has also hired Adrian Fulle as digital features producer.”

We’re excited to see how all of these changes play out, particularly the potential merger of Meredith Corp. and Time Inc. Stay tuned for more on this story going forward.

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