The company that runs iconic music magazine Rolling Stone aims to expand its overseas reach and to secure that goal it sold a 49 percent stake in the business to a Singapore startup.
Wenner Media, the owner of Rolling Stone magazine, announced that Singapore's BandLab bought a big part of the shares but kept mum on the pricing details.
BandLab has a history of music-centered acquisitions during the last years. In 2012, the enterprise purchased guitars and musical instruments distributor Swee Lee. No sooner than last week, instrument design lab Mono went under BandLab's umbrella as well. The venture also offers artists a free app for crafting and sharing songs, and it works on both Android and iOS.
According to BandLabs, its' plans for Rolling Stone are to push the magazine into new markets and assist "the brand's global evolution."
This could mean that a Rolling Stone International is bound to emerge, according to Bloomberg. The new entity could organize live events and get involved in hospitality and merchandizing to ensure that the brand develops in sectors other than editorial.
It should be mentioned that editorial control will remain with the U.S.-based Wenner Media.
The iconic magazine, which is near the 50th birth mark, sports 12 international editions.
The magazine came under fire recently, after its coverage of an alleged rape on a U.S. college campus caused public uproar and led to the editorial staff issuing multiple apologies.
Rolling Stone touts that it has a loyal audience of 12 million for its printed edition and as much as 65 million online readers. Keep in mind that the impressive number contains social media such as Facebook, where the magazine claims to have nearly 18 million followers.
Without disclosing traffic numbers for Rollingstone.com, the magazine notes that it registered a 40 percent year-over-year increase in unique monthly visitors.
The deal is a premiere for Wenner, as the company made a staple out of relying exclusively on local investments.
However, times are a-changing and new approaches are in tow. Nobody expects media in the 21st century to rely on print or online alone, and it will be worth seeing how Rolling Stone synergizes the two.
"We are focused on the consumer and the supply chain of music, and innovative business models around music that exist today," says BandLab's manager, Meng Ru Kuok.
BandLab showed that it can resuscitate older businesses with its 2012 acquisition. Swee Lee, which counts 70 years of market presence, was recently upgraded with new services such as music lessons, adding to its traditional musical instrument merchandizing arm.