NEW YORK — Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) announced today that it has acquired Missouri-based FanSided, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle network of more than 300 websites with thriving communities. Launched in 2009, FanSided is one of the industry’s fastest growing independent digital content networks, with a collective audience of approximately 15 million unique visitors per month that generates an average of 50 million page views per month. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FanSided’s unique fan-focused editorial voice, very popular mobile app and personalized digital newsletter are behind its rapidly growing popularity among millennial sports and entertainment fans. FanSided’s community of 1,500+ contributors will deepen Sports Illustrated’s local sports coverage and add more weight to the brand’s new customization platform, which is set to launch later this year. Time Inc. also plans to further leverage FanSided’s entertainment and lifestyle coverage across its brand portfolio.
This acquisition builds on a two-year partnership between Time Inc. and FanSided that saw the network’s growing audience roll into the overall SI digital footprint, providing the sales and marketing teams with yet another valuable product to offer clients. Founders Adam and Zach Best, along with partner Matt Blake, will join Time Inc. and oversee FanSided as a division of the Sports Illustrated Group, working closely with SI Group Publisher Brendan Ripp, Editor Paul Fichtenbaum and SVP, Digital Scott Havens.
“The FanSided business is an investment in a modern content strategy plus deeply engaged and passionate audiences,” said Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp. “The entrepreneurial and agile FanSided leadership team is a great addition to our growing Sports Illustrated Group portfolio.”
Since becoming an independent public company in 2014, Time Inc. has been extending its brands, content and audiences into new revenue streams through investment and acquisition. Time Inc. acquired Cozi, a technology company that leads the family productivity space, and UK Cycling Events (UKCE), the UK’s leading provider of premium cycling events. Time Inc. is an equity investor in 120 Sports, a groundbreaking OTT network created by multiple leagues and content companies; and a lead investor in Keaton Row, a go-to resource for busy women who want the luxury and convenience of personal shopping in an online environment. Building upon the diversity and authority of its trusted content, Time Inc. introduced MIMI (www.mimichatter.com), a constant stream of social chatter, beauty content and video, as well as The Snug (www.thesnug.com), a DIY social aggregation website targeting millennials.
The acquisition also aligns with SI’s expansion into men’s lifestyle categories, such as fitness, adventure sports and the global sneaker community. Over the past year the brand has launched nearly a dozen new editorial and digital products–a large reason for the brand’s selection to Advertising Age’s 2014 A-List and Adweek’s Best Sports Publication honors. Earlier this year at the NewFronts, the company also announced a new video initiative: SI Films, which will develop video programming for all platforms and mediums. This aggressive growth strategy has driven 30% of y-o-y growth in UVs to the SI Digital network which now reaches more than 24MM (comScore April ’15 vs. April ’14).
ABOUT TIME INC.: Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) is one of the world's leading media companies, with a monthly global print audience of over 120 million and worldwide digital properties that attract more than 120 million visitors each month, including over 50 websites. Our influential brands include People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Time, Real Simple, Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, Cooking Light, Fortune and Food & Wine, as well as more than 50 diverse titles in the United Kingdom such as Decanter, Horse & Hound and Wallpaper*. Time Inc. is home to celebrated events and franchises including the Fortune 500, Time 100, People’s Sexiest Man Alive, Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year, the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the Essence Festival and the biennial Fortune Global Forum. Hundreds of thousands of people attended our live media events in 2014. We also provide content marketing, targeted local print and digital advertising programs, branded book publishing and marketing and support services, including subscription sales services for magazines and other products, retail distribution and marketing services and customer service and fulfillment services, for ourselves and third-party clients, including other magazine publishers.