Publishers are scrambling quickly to launch Millennial content hubs, but Hearst is opting for the turnkey approach. The company announced that it’s extending its partnership with telecommunications giant Verizon to acquire Complex and its massive Millennial video audience.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the transaction is expected to close within 60 days.
The deal adds to a Hearst Millennial investment portfolio that already includes Buzzfeed, Vice and United Artist Media Group.
This latest partnership comes just weeks after the two companies formed a 50/50 partnership—Verizon Hearst Media Partners—to develop digital video channels for Millennials, which also included significant investments, along with DreamWorks Animation, in AwesomenessTV.
Complex is a sensible acquisition for Verizon Hearst Media Partners. Not only is it an established multiplatform brand, but it's also grown its video operation considerably over the past couple years. The brand purportedly reaches a monthly average of 50 million unique video viewers, and is growing that audience by more than 400% year over year. What’s more, Hearst already had a $21M minority investment that it ponied up last fall.
“Complex will turn up the volume on our growing portfolio with Verizon, complementing the audiences targeted with our other channel investments,” says Neeraj Khemlani, co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication in a statement. “Complex’s smart, fresh content aims squarely at the ever elusive young male demo and drives unparalleled engagement with that audience across every social channel. Complex also represents the acceleration of Hearst’s growing partnership with Verizon, which has unparalleled ad, video and mobile technology, and an appetite to build together the digital video networks of the future.”
Rich Antoniello, CEO and co-founder of Complex will stay on to continue to lead the brand. No further information on how this acquisition will impact department staffs.