Discovery to make $100M minority investment in Group Nine Media
Discovery Communications said in a regulatory filing that it has agreed to make a minority investment of $100M and enter into a strategic partnership with Group Nine Media, a new media holding company consisting of Thrillist Media Group, NowThis Media, The Dodo and Discovery's digital network Seeker . Axel Springer will maintain its investment as the second largest shareholder. Ben Lerer, CEO of Thrillist, will become CEO of Group Nine Media. The merging of these millennial-focused brands will immediately create in Group Nine Media one of the largest digital-first media companies. he partnership between Discovery and Group Nine Media will include a commercial agreement that will enable advertisers to reach their desired audience via true 360 opportunities across multiple platforms including linear, digital, social and live events. On the closing of today's investment and partnership, Group Nine Media will expand Discovery's push into the digital network space targeting millennials, which began with the 2012 acquisition of digital network Revision3 and the subsequent acquisition in 2013 of Internet video icon Philip DeFranco's portfolio of online video channels and ventures, DeFranco Creative. Now called Seeker and SourceFed Studios, these entities will become part of Group Nine Media. Discovery also led rounds of funding in The Dodo in 2014 and 2015. In the future, Discovery will have an option to buy a controlling stake in Group Nine Media.