Emap is to continue its expansion into the web sector by snapping
up a 45 per cent stake in Californian youth outfit Kick Media for
dollars 8 million (pounds 5 million).
The move follows the establishment of Emap Digital last autumn (Media
Business, 4 October), a global brand covering all the company’s
Web publisher Kick Media was founded just over a year ago and is
developing a raft of sites based on traditional media brands. Emap
already has a relationship with the company, as its most popular site is
Teenmag, based on Emap USA’s Teen magazine.
Together the companies will develop more branded magazine websites
alongside movie, retail, games and fashion sites. Emap says the
partnership will allow it to target the sought-after ’Generation Y’
group of consumers in their teens and early 20s.
Kick Media plans to launch seven sites aimed at this group in the first
quarter of 2000, growing to 14 by the end of the year.
Emap will receive royalties for the use of its brands and content and a
share of cash generated by e-commerce activity on the sites. At the same
time, the sites will be heavily promoted through Emap’s traditional
titles. Emap is likely to use Kick Media’s expertise to develop sites in
the UK as well as the US.
Emap Digital’s chairman David Grigson commented: ’This is a
strategically important move in the development of our online business
in the teenage market. It allows us to utilise our extensive content and
brands in an established digital business.’
Emap’s teenage and action titles in the US include Teen, Snowboarder,
Bike and Surfer. Magazines aimed at a similar market in the UK include
J17, Smash Hits, Big and Bliss.