Publishing Acquisitions on the Rise in Event and Mobile Sectors

JEGI report on 2015 publishing acquisitions is upbeat; plus, Time Inc. and Wilmington complete recent deals

Publishing acquisitions provide a barometer for the robustness of the digital magazine business, and a recent report highlights how emerging areas are gaining ground on more traditional media M&A activity – areas that will appeal to Mequoda Members.

Meanwhile, the Time Inc. machine keeps moving, and a UK publisher establishes a U.S. foothold. Plus, Consumer Reports changes course.

One of our favorite industry sources, Folio:, has it all covered. Let’s take a look!

Jordan Edmiston Group Releases Publishing Acquisitions Data

The Jordan Edmiston Group’s latest report on publishing acquisitions shows that traditional segments like consumer media and tech experienced slight growth at 9% and 18%, respectively, but the real news comes in the way of the up-and-coming streams that fit neatly into a multiplatform strategy, as Folio: reports.

“Exhibitions and conferences saw the biggest increase in M&A movement of any of the seven media, marketing and technology sectors measured by JEGI – volume rose 40 percent to 42 deals, while value shot up 760 percent to $2.5 billion. Part of the exponential increase in events spending was due to the $1.2 billion purchase of Cirque du Soleil, though the segment still posted growth north of 340 percent without it,” writes Michael Rondon.

“Two other high-priority areas for magazine media companies, mobile media and technology, and database and information services, followed suit – they were each the second-fastest growing segments for volume and value, respectively.”


Analysts expect the upward trends to continue.

“Companies are flush with cash and robust debt markets continue to offer historically low interest rates,” the report states. “The strong U.S. economy and rising confidence signals a strong finish to 2015, making it another record year for M&A value since 2007 and the doldrums of the financial crisis.”

Time Inc. Scores Four More Publishing Acquisitions

Time Inc. is unstoppable lately, remaking its brand with both internal content strategy as well as mergers & acquisitions. In the latter case, the company made four last week, all part of a new effort called Sports Illustrated Play geared at youth and amateur sports, Folio: reports. League Athletics and SportsSignup are two of the gets focusing on management tools, and iScore is a mobile app. Finally, inVNT is an event producer.

UK’s Wilmington PLC Purchases FRA

Wilmington PLC has purchased Financial Research Associates, Folio: reports. The deal could be worth more than $20 million. FRA produces events in the healthcare and finance industries, Folio: reports.

Consumer Reports VP on Magazine’s Digital Outlook

Interesting interview with Consumer Reports Vice President of Digital Jason Fox in the wake of recent moves to fold ShopSmart and Money Adviser.

“Those decisions were about accelerating the strategic realignment we are undergoing. We’ve made a deliberate decision to pivot forward and invest in our flagship magazine, Consumer Reports, and in digital technology including Consumer Reports Online and new mobile Web products and apps,” Fox told Caysey Welton and Kelsey Lundstrom.

“At present most of our revenue comes from subscriptions to Consumer Reports magazine, and Consumer Reports Online. But we are diversifying that revenue stream by stepping up our fundraising efforts and offering new products. … We also have some content licensing and new partnership opportunities, which are quite exciting. Soon we will be spinning up a new video distribution network that will allow us to further monetize our great content and reach new audiences.”

Are you keeping up with publishing acquisitions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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