How Evolve Media Is Getting Into the Luxe Market
Company buys Martini Media, to build luxury publishing division.
Evolve Media continues to expand, getting into the affluent media market with the purchase of luxury marketing firm, Martini Media, the companies announced Tuesday.
Terms weren’t disclosed, though all of Martini’s 33 staffers, including its CEO Erik Pavelka, will be retained, and continue to operate as a division of Evolve.
The deal follows a slew of acquisitions for Evolve recently—this is the company’s fifth acquisition in the last 12 months—but stands alone as a first step in an ambitious entrance into the affluent media vertical. (Its other purchases have been aimed at bolstering its men’s and women’s niche lifestyle divisions, CraveOnline and TotallyHer, which together draw more than 100 million monthly unique visitors.)
While Martini doesn’t operated any owned media itself—its acts in an advisory capacity to marketers and advertisers seeking to reach audiences in the space—Evolve plans to build a network of luxury publications around it in the coming months, says Brian Fitzgerald, co-founder and president of Evolve.
“We’ve been looking to aggressively expand,” he says. “We want to take the publishing DNA of Evolve—the platforms and systems we’ve developed—and, in the coming months, acquire independent publishing assets in the affluent luxury category, working to evolve Martini from a vertical network into a vertical publisher. Martini already has a great brand name and relationships with many of the leading affluent marketers, so it’s a great opportunity to tap into what they’ve built to date and expand it.”
Exactly how much of an impact the new unit will make on Evolve’s bottom line is to be determined, but Fitzgerald characterizes it as the “third leg of our stool,” alongside CraveOnline and TotallyHer. He says Martini generates about $20 million in annual revenue.
Immediate acquisition targets in the luxe category are also still being figured out, though Fitzgerald says the company is having ongoing negotiations with “several independent publishers.”
“We’ve been really aggressive on the M&A front,” he says. “The market is target rich right now with the amount of downward pressure on online advertising. It’s created a great opportunity for larger companies to be acquisitive and to consolidate a lot of the independent publishing companies out there, to get the critical scale necessary to compete. [But] there’s only a handful of players that have the runway and the appetite to be acquisitive.”