- Trusted Media Brands, the owner of Reader's Digest, Taste of Home and Family Handyman, has acquired social video company Jukin Media, per a press release. Financial terms of the transaction were not officially disclosed, but Forbes reported the price tag is valued at more than $100 million.
- Jukin Media's viral video verticals like FailArmy, People Are Awesome, The Pet Collective and WeatherSpy together command an audience of at least 220 million followers and generate more than 2 billion minutes of monthly views across streaming TV and social channels. The deal effectively quadruples Trusted Media Brands' online reach, the release said.
- Jukin Media is a supplier of video content to outside parties, having licensed 2,000 video clips to advertising campaigns in 2020 alone. The acquisition underpins the continued ascent of social video in publishing and marketing as engagement climbs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trusted Media Brands gains access to a major source of user-generated content (UGC) with the Jukin Media acquisition. The social video firm is a prominent supplier of UGC to marketers, networks and digital media properties, covering a wide range of categories including workout, travel, parenting and "fail" videos. Founded in 2010, Jukin Media has a library of over 60,000 clips that are hand-selected to ensure brand safety and quality, according to its website. Recognizable hits include a clip of a rat dragging a piece of pizza down a set of New York City subway stairs, also known as "Pizza Rat."
UGC continues to be of importance to brands, agencies and publishers looking to stay on top of viral trends in a cost-effective fashion. Video, in particular, has remained a dominant category as people spend more time on apps like TikTok and cut the cord in favor of over-the-top streaming. The Jukin Media deal is a bet by Trusted Media Brands that those habits will endure over the long term and can increasingly be linked to other areas of business like its editorial, first-party data and commerce operations. It's part of a larger transformation strategy where Trusted Media Brands is vying to become a billion-dollar business, Forbes reported.
"We have seen tremendous momentum across our web and social properties year over year, with video viewership and revenue at an all-time high," Vince Errico, president of digital at Trusted Media Brands, said in a press statement. "In fact, video revenue outpaced video play growth due to strategic monetization efforts that are authentic to our brands."
Video's sustained boom is transforming what social platforms that drive traffic to publisher sites look like. On a recent call discussing second-quarter earnings with analysts, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said video is becoming "the primary way" people use its products. Instagram earlier this summer announced it would redesign its app to center more on video-sharing, creators, shopping and messaging.
Some publishers are following suit despite the industry previously putting too many chips on the pivot to digital video. However, the media space has changed significantly in the past few years, with accelerated adoption of connected TV and social features like livestreaming. Vice Media reportedly wants to pull back on text-based articles by 40% to 50% and direct more resources to video, including mobile content.
Another big video pivot also comes as content and commerce blend closer together, opening new revenue opportunities for brands and publishers. Trusted Media Brands, which wields an audience of about 60 million, said its commerce business has grown 75% in the past year, though it did not break out specific dollar figures.