Caption: From left to right, Say Media CEO Matt Sanchez, Maven CEO James Heckman, HubPages CEO Paul Edmondson, and Maven President Josh Jacobs
SEATTLE — Maven announced today it has signed a letter of intent to acquire Say Media as part of a three-way fusion -- along with HubPages -- that will bring together former competitors to create a dominant platform for professional, independent publishers. Maven, Say Media and HubPages will continue to trade under the MVEN ticker symbol.
[UPDATE: as of December 2018 the HubPages and Say transactions have closed and the companies have combined operations]
Management believes the combined operations will be profitable in Q4 2018, generating a projected $30 million in annualized revenue. The combined entity will offer:
- One of the largest news and information destinations on the internet
- Significant depth and breadth of content with more than 300 curated channels, and over 6,000 professional writers
- A single integrated revenue, distribution and technology platform for publishers seeking an alternative to social platforms
“After more than 12 years building and collaborating with our extraordinary community of partners, it’s become clear that fully integrated technology and monetization at massive scale is needed to save independent digital media publishing,” says Matt Sanchez, CEO of Say Media. “Together with Maven and HubPages, the strength of our technology and size of our collective communities will free publishers to focus on content instead of technology, distribution and advertising, which will produce a sustainable foundation on which to grow revenue and audience.”
The three companies operate under the same business model: content partners, on a shared business and technology platform. Combining the three companies will create economic efficiencies that will be passed along to independent publishers seeking stability and consistency, with each partner in the union bringing a unique set of offerings to create a powerhouse for online publishers.
- Say Media: A fully-developed direct sales team, and Tempest, a powerful system for enterprise publishers to author, design and distribute world-class content
- Maven: Next generation advertising, video, publishing and community engagement technology
- HubPages: Best-of-class SEO expertise and the leading platform for expert writers
“This alliance will create one of the largest-scale news and information media companies in North America,” says Maven CEO James Heckman. “It will also position Maven as a viable alternative for publishers, from single authors to leading publications, seeking a sustainable future and to replace the distribution and revenue lost from social media platforms.”
This announcement comes as the entire independent publisher ecosystem is in crisis. This powerful new coalition creates a preferable business model for publishers, offering writers an alternative path toward sustainable independence. Through advanced yet intuitively easy advertising and publishing technology, publishers will receive the time savings, scale and efficiencies they require to flourish.
“The vision of integrated tools and services across a coalition of independent publishers is very compelling, and we’re happy to be partnered with a team that is constantly searching for solutions to evolve and enhance the online model for enthusiast media brands like ours,” says Jonathan Dorn, Chief Innovation Officer at Active Interest Media, which currently publishes their digital portfolio of 50 sites, including Backpacker and Yoga Journal, on Say Media’s Tempest.
Maven plans to raise new equity capital through a public offering to finance the acquisitions of both Say Media and HubPages. Maven filed a Current Report on Form 8-K with the SEC on March 29, 2018, which further explains the terms of the planned acquisition of Say Media. The 8-K can be found on the SEC’s EDGAR website at www.sec.gov.
About Say Media:
Based in San Francisco, Say Media was formed in 2010 when VideoEgg (founders of the first ad-in-video model) acquired Six Apart (creators of Movable Type and Typepad), bringing together pioneers in digital advertising and publishing with one goal: combining technology, tools, services and yield management to helps publishers build audiences, businesses and brands. Tempest, the company’s full-service platform, powers over 120 enterprise publishers including Biography.com (A&E), Fashionista.com, Cupcakesandcashmere.com, and all of the NewBay Media and Active Interest Media digital portfolios.
Maven is a coalition of mavens operating on a shared digital publishing, advertising and distribution platform, unified under a single media brand. Based in Seattle, Maven is publicly traded under the ticker symbol MVEN. Membership in the coalition offers independent publishers:
- Distribution: Exposure across the coalition’s audience of more than 90 million readers, plus support for delivery across all major news syndication formats.
- Revenue: Exceptional income potential through an advanced advertising platform, direct media sales and integrated membership offerings.
- Technology: Stable, world-class writing, sharing, community and notifications platform featuring video, social and app technology.
- Ownership: Fully retained ownership of content and reader data with uninhibited access to all followers, and equity interest in Maven, Inc.
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