On Wednesday, Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal announced its strategic investment plan of $200 million in Vox Media to increase its stake in the digital media firm and assist the television giant having a better reach among the younger audience.
Started around 10 years back, Vox Media has already raised more than $100 million in funding among which the last one would be the funding raised from General Atlantic last year from about $46 million. The popular younger generation sought after brands like SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, Vox.com, Eater Racked, Curbed and Re/code are run by Vox Media.
NBCUniversal’s CEO Steve Burke said, “Vox Media has strong leadership, top editorial talent and a unique technology platform. We are excited to be making this investment and building a collaborative partnership involving editorial content, advertising and technology.” He also added, “Vox Media has a great portfolio of premium digital brands that deeply engage broad audiences.”
NBCUniversal that runs popular channels like USA, Bravo, E! and MSNBC has been trashed with the fall in television viewers due to online streaming and other online videos. Vox Media which has a great traction among the younger crowd is expected to help NBCUniversal to regain its market position, with the new partnership gained through the investment.
Also, it is expected that Comcast’s investment will provide funds to boost Vox’s video capabilities and potential distribution channels. Vox Chairman and CEO Jim Bankoff said, “NBCUniversal is obviously a huge television ad entertainment company, so there are a lot of assets that can provide with distribution and production both online and on linear networks as well.” He also added, “Our industry is evolving so quickly and we think this will give us the resources to be independent and strong throughout all the changes.” However, this investment is not the first stake in Vox Media for Comcast. Comcast’s venture capital arm has earlier invested in Vox Media. The company has also received investment from Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures and General Atlantic.
Despite the increase in the holding for Comcast, it will remain as a minority investor. A person familiar with the matter said, the exact size of the Comcast’s ownership stake still remains vague as some previous investors’ stakes will be reduced which is still a pending process.