Singaporean startup buys stake in Rolling Stone magazine

Singapore-based music startup BandLab has purchased a 49-per-cent stake of Rolling Stone magazine's print and media assets from US publisher Wenner Media.

BandLab chief executive and co-founder Kuok Meng Ru will head an international subsidiary that will try to expand Rolling Stone's markets in live events, merchandising and hospitality, the startup said in a statement Sunday.

BandLab will not be involved with editorial operations at Rolling Stone and the statement did not include the financial terms of the deal.

Alan Soon, founder and chief executive of Singapore-based media consultancy The Splice Newsroom, said that BandLab's move to bolster live events is necessary to support Rolling Stone's publishing efforts.

"You can't talk about music these days and only focus on the content side of it. Experiences - especially in events and hospitality - must be built," Soon told dpa. "This sounds like exactly what Rolling Stone needs to get a stronger presence in Asia. Not many magazines have that ability to connect the dots."

Editor of Asia media and marketing website Mumbrella, Robin Hicks, said the deal signals a future where publishing companies will need avenues "beyond print and digital advertising for revenue."

"BandLab benefits from the platform of a global cultural brand from which to enter new territories and find new audiences," Hicks said.

Last update: Mon, 26/09/2016 - 10:41

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