MIL OSI – Source: Axel Springer in English – Press Release/Statement
Headline: Axel Springer is second largest shareholder in Group Nine Media
Discovery Communications announced today a minority investment of USD 100 million in Group Nine Media, a new leading digital content company based in New York. Group Nine Media will combine the millennial-focused brands Thrillist, NowThis Media, The Dodo and Discovery’s digital network Seeker in one group. Axel Springer will maintain its existing investments as the second largest shareholder in Group Nine Media. Ben Lerer, CEO of Thrillist, will become CEO of Group Nine Media and Jens Müffelmann, President Axel Springer USA and CEO of Axel Springer Digital Ventures, will become Board Member of Group Nine Media.
“We are big believers in digital journalism and its very exciting business perspectives,” said Jens Müffelmann, President Axel Springer USA and CEO Axel Springer Digital Ventures. “We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with the Lerer family through this transaction and to work with Discovery to support the growth of Group Nine Media.”
“This is truly a ‘win-win’ scenario, allowing our brands the opportunity to remain independent and build our own future, while at the same time, having the support of one of the best media and entertainment companies in the world,” said Ben Lerer, CEO of Group Nine Media. “Each of our brands has found great success independently, but with consolidation of digital content companies around the corner, there is extraordinary value in all existing under one multi-brand roof. We will be stronger brands working together – we will have more influence; we will have better data and insights; we will be better partners to our advertisers; and most importantly, we will be substantial enough to make a real difference and stay ahead of the market.”
The Dodo (a digital offering for animal lovers), NowThis (a social video news company), Thrillist (a lifestyle destination for millennials) and Seeker (a digital network for adventure and explorer stories) are each unique, mission-driven brands and stand-outs in their respective categories. The Dodo has more than 700 million monthly social video views; NowThis is the number 1 video news publisher on Facebook; Seeker has over 23 million YouTube subscribers across its channels; and Thrillist’s audience has doubled to nearly 20 million monthly uniques on owned and operated (O&O) properties. Axel Springer has been a shareholder of NowThis since December 2014 and invested in Thrillist in October 2015.
With over 60 percent of its audience consisting of users ages 18-34, Group Nine Media’s brands are built for consumption on the social web where this audience spends the majority of its time. From launch, Group Nine Media represents one of the largest digital content companies:
• More than 12 billion monthly social impressions
• Over 3.5 billion monthly video views
• 50+ million monthly social engagements
• 40+ million Facebook followers
• 30+ million YouTube subscribers
• More than 500 full-time employees
Sources: Shareablee, Facebook Insights, You Tube Analytics, internal data