Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and its NBCUniversal division have pulled the trigger on plans to become more involved in digital media, investing an additional $200 million in Vox Media.
The investment, confirmed in a short press release, augments the 14 percent equity stake in Vox already held by Comcast's venture capital arm, Comcast Ventures. With the new investment, Comcast is still a minority shareholder in Vox, which publishes The Verge, Eater and Re/code, among other sites.
The investment is part of an overall NBCU strategy to partner with technology-literate media brands that connect to younger audiences. NBCU has also been talking to Vice Media, BuzzFeed and Business Insider about possible partnerships. NBCU is also reportedly close to investing $250 million into BuzzFeed.
In addition to the NBC broadcast network, NBCU also owns USA, Bravo, E! and MSNBC, all of which are struggling -- right along with the rest of linear television -- to connect to adults aged 18-34. According to a June comScore report, 41 percent of the 54.1 million users across Vox's eight category-driven platforms were adults 18-34. The same comScore report indicated that 54 percent of BuzzFeed's 79.6 million uniques were in that demo, as well.
"Vox Media has a great portfolio of premium digital brands that deeply engage broad audiences," said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. "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."
"NBCUniversal is the perfect strategic partner for Vox Media as we continue to rapidly grow our audience and business," said Jim Bankoff, CEO and chairman of Vox Media. "NBCUniversal's valuable family of properties align especially well with Vox Media's authoritative, voice-driven brands which span sports, tech, news, fashion, food, and more. We are extraordinarily excited to collaborate in many areas including video programming, brand advertising, cross-promotion, and platform technology to grow existing properties and launch new franchises."
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