Buzzmedia has added electronic dance music and culture publication XLR8R to its portfolio of music and culture online properties. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The attractiveness of a well-known electronic dance music property, especially at a time when EDM's popularity is exploding, goes without saying. But CEO Tyler Goldman tells Billboard.biz that Buzzmedia acquired XLR8R in part because the market needs more content for the genre. "If you look at the total amount of consumption, the audience is growing pretty significantly. Like all passionate audience groups, there's more demand than supply of great programming around electronic music."
Prior to the acquisition of XLR8R, which ceased publication of its print magazine in 2011, Buzzmedia's portfolio lacked a property aimed specifically at the electronic dance music genre. The company owns indie- and rock-oriented sites Stereogum, Idolator, Buzznet, Absolutepunk, PureVolume, and it has co-ownership in the blogs Gorilla vs. Bear and Concrete Loop. In addition, Buzzmedia has a joint venture relationship -- but no ownership stake -- with the Hype Machine and RCRD LBL.
The company's non-music properties include celebrity and entertainment sites such as Celebuzz, Radar Online, Just Jared and KimKardashian.com. With 28.2 million unique visitors across all its properties, Buzzmedia ranked as the 38th largest U.S. web property in April, according to comScore.
Buzzmedia intends to get more content out of XLR8R's brand and staff. Goldman says shifting to Buzzmedia's content management platform will allow a growing staff of writers to spend less time on production and more time creating great experiences. The company will also invest in content assets like photography. "We thought XLR8R was by far the leader in creating quality programming, but like a lot of smaller publishers was resource-constrained in their ability to program against the topic as deeply as they'd like to," Goldman says.
Brand partnerships will become more commonplace, he added. "The site has tremendous engagement. But even more than engagement, it's incredibly influential in the marketplace. Through some product changes it will lend itself even better to marketers."
Buzzmedia's music division was bolstered earlier this year with the addition of Bill Jensen to the new position of Vice President/General Manager of Music. Jensen, who was previously director of new media at Village Voice Media, oversees editorial content and strategic development of Buzzmedia's music properties.
Expect other deals to follow the XLR8R acquisition. "We've seen that in a lot of different genres and across the company," he said. "In digital, we see the fractured marketplace is really more limited by the lack of tremendous quality offerings. Again, there aren't that many great offerings not just in music but in any category because the investment level in digital media has been so low."