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Emmis Communications Takes 40% Stake In Funkmaster Flex's Flexco

Dj-funkmaster-flexEmmis Communications may be known for radio but they're putting money into a DJ's web and mobile operation. Funkmaster Flex, a well-known hip hop dj at New York's Hot 97 radio station, also runs Flexco which creates websites and mobile apps for other radio stars. Though the exact investment amount is not public, Emmis ends up with 40% of Flexco.

Funkmaster Flex has long been a key player in New York hip hop due largely to his longstanding gig at New York's HOT 97.

Back when I was following his work he was putting out a lot of mixtapes with pay to play spots for artists vying for attention. He also had an ongoing sponsorship from Ford customizing their vehicles for special events and even had his own limited edition Ford Explorer.

One of his many other projects, Flexco, apparently grew out of developing websites and mobile apps for himself and other Hot 97 celeb djs according to the Emmis investment announcement:

"Flex has already launched for Angie Martinez, Afternoon Drive Personality on Hot97, for DJ Enuff on Hot 97 and is working on a digital project for Hot97's morning show personality Ebro Darden."

Funkmaster's Flexco doesn't seem to have a web presence. That may not change given the nature of the deal with Emmis:

"Emmis Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: EMMS) has entered into a joint venture with Flexco, owned by popular Emmis personality Funkmaster Flex, to build a network of owned and operated digital platforms for Emmis' biggest personalities."

Regarding the announced 40% ownership stake, Emmis Communication's multi-hat wearing CFO, COO and Emmis Radio Division President Patrick Walsh stated:

"We're thrilled to invest in Flex's digital assets and work closely with him to continue to innovate in the digital space...Flex has built a successful mobile and online platform that reaches more than 5 million people monthly and he already has started work with other talented Emmis personalities at Hot 97 to expand their digital presence. We expect this partnership to enable us to rapidly expand our digital content offering for our passionate fans and advertisers."

The platform to which Walsh refers includes the Flexco-created In Flex We Trust website and the DJ Funkmaster Flex mobile app (iOS and Android).

Looks like the Android app identifies Mobile Roadie as the creators (see url of Android app) so Flexco may be outsourcing actual development of digital properties.

Let's give the last word to this press release quote from Funkmaster Flex:

"Today's digital world has changed how personalities and DJs interact with listeners and music fans...We must reinvent ourselves to stay relevant and grow. I jumped in feet first to learn what it takes to create an audience online. The partnership with Emmis provides the foundation we need to turn our brands and personalities into a real digital business. The opportunity to share what I have learned is exciting, and our future lives in doing digital with our biggest brands and best personalities."

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.