By Fruzsina Eordogh
The digital media world may very well have a new giant to tremble before very soon: Guggenheim Digital Media — that new entity created by the global financial firm Guggenheim Partners, LLC just this very January — made three very aggressive moves in the digital video space today.
First, AdWeek is reporting Guggenheim Digital Media has acquired “the stake it didn’t own in Backstage and Sonic Bids and combined them with Billboard to create a larger Billboard Group.” Both Backstage and Sonic Bids are online employment-seeking tools for performing artists, and Ross Levinsohn, the CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media, is quoted as saying in a statement:”The combined group will operate across multiple media platforms to serve a wide array of entertainment-industry professionals, from artists to top-level executives.”
Levinsohn — who was recruited in January from Yahoo, who is incidentally also investing in online content and entertainment — told Hollywood Reporter “We’re going to be aggressive in our expansion in this space.” If by aggressive, Levinsohn means a blitzkrieg expansion, well, that is already happening.
Around the same time as the Backstage and Sonic Bids acquisition, Guggenheim Digital Media was also having talks with online music-video giant Vevo about “taking a controlling share” in the company, reports the Wall Street Journal. As if Vevo, Backstage and Sonic Bids weren’t enough, Guggenheim Digital Media is also thinking about placing a bid for Hulu. In fact, this isn’t the first time Levinsohn has tried to buy the company — when he was still at Yahoo!, he tried to buy Hulu for $2 Billion. Let the Chernin vs. Levinsohn bidding war for Hulu begin.
It’s also rumored that Guggenheim has taken meetings with a few key players in the YouTube content space so we wouldn’t be surprised to hear murmurs of funding in MCN-land near future either.
Judging by the recent music publishing properties acquired — Billboard and SonicBids — a Vevo purchase would certainly forge a nice trifecta.
All huge moves for the ‘Chief’ who took reins at Guggenheim only four recent months ago. Levinsohn, we at VideoInk admire your gumption at Total Digital Media Domination.