Sydney-based The Brag Media has today announced the acquisition of digital activations company Epic Digital in a bid to enter uncharted territory and expand its Australian footprint.
Proud of its “ubiquitous” presence Down Under, The Brag Media – which owns The Rolling Stone Australia, Variety and Tone Deaf – sealed the deal with Epic Digital within six months of commencing talks.
The acquisition will allow the diverse media powerhouse to enter the world of advertising sales in gaming and anime for the first time, recently promoted COO Joel King explained.
“The initial plans [for The Brag Media] were just to launch a music publisher and to be the centre of music and to own that music publishing space, which we've done and we've been successful at doing,” he said.
“Then we branched into entertainment and we started representing businesses - that's when there was the joint venture deal done with Rolling Stone. We branched into entertainment, film and TV.
“With the purchase of Epic Digital, we've now got a niche to gaming and even into anime - so we’re really across all youth culture, entertainment, and music.”
The company’s events arm, which has been operating for more than a decade, has teed up artists such as viral TikTok singer Peach PRC to perform at events like Magnum After Dark.
“We curated the stage for them. They really wanted to target Gen Z, they wanted to showcase self-expression,” said King.
“They actually allowed us to get some artists for them that other brands might not have traditionally worked with. That was a really good event – [it] was free.”
Peach PRC (Shaylee Jade Curnow) has amassed 1.9 million followers on social media platform TikTok
King - who joined The Brag Media in 2020 - says the company's management was unsure whether to focus on growth when COVID-19 struck, but ultimately decided to take the plunge.
“At the start of the pandemic, we decided we just needed to double down and keep investing,” King explains.
“Companies like Buzzfeed, Vice and Huffington Post all stripped back operations in Australia. We just stayed the course and were able to take up some of that market share that was pulled out.”
Founded in 2019, Epic Digital has built an advertising network covering music, culture and entertainment via The Brag Media, in addition to gaming, anime and esports verticals through partnerships with Funimation, Enthusiast Gaming, Life Without Andy, and HypeBeast, among others.
It also activated campaigns for global brands such as Apple, Playstation, Bandai, Hasbro, Stan, Sailor Jerry, Lion, EA, and Binge.
The buy-out will double its owner’s monthly page views to 40 million from eight million users, helping cement its position as a marketing-leading youth and pop culture network.
“It’s a no brainer, Epic Digital and The Brag Media have been working together for years and it's been a sensational partnership. This step is the best way forward for both brands, the publishers and our kick-ass clients,” Batchelor said.
“We have done some amazing work in the gaming and anime space and with The Brag Media’s growing sales, creative, and editorial teams, our clients will see immediate benefits.”
The Brag Media has set its sights on building a presence across the Tasman after making its foray into New Zealand last year and adding new divisions such as events, creative and talent management.
When asked about whether more acquisitions were down the line, King confirmed one was just around the corner and was in its “final stages”.
“We are looking for more businesses, and we're also looking at acquiring more licensing deals and contracts with premium global publishers,” he said.
“We've got a number of conversations with US publishers going at the moment."
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