Social Music Company BandLab Buys Major Stake In Rolling Stone
Even as streaming has helped the music industry right itself, rock journalism is still undergoing major upheaval. In the latest chapter, a Singapore-based social music company acquired a substantial stake in venerable music magazine Rolling Stone.
BandLab Technologies, a Singapore-based social music company, has acquired a substantial minority stake in Rolling Stone music magazine.
According to the Wall Street Journal, BandLab acquired a 49% stake in the music magazine, but the full financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. However, BandLab's stake does not include ownership in Wenner Media LLC, Rolling Stone's corporate parent, which publishes magazines such as Us Weekly and Men's Journal.
As a part of the agreement, the two companies will form a new Singapore subsidiary called Rolling Stone International, which will include Rolling Stone’s 12 international licensees and which will be led by Meng Ru Kuok, BandLab’s 28-year-old CEO and co-founder.
The stake in Rolling Stone will allow the storied music brand to expand into the live event, hospitality and merchandising businesses in Asian markets where BandLab already has a footprint, the WSJ said. Rolling Stone, like many print publications, is seeking to diversify away from print media, as advertising moves online.
BandLab's flagship product is a free app based social platform with a global community of musicians and fans who create and collaborate on music. It's a part of BandLab Technologies, whose brands cover musical instruments and accessories, web, mobile and social applications and commerce.
“Everyone is trying to figure out the new business model,” Gus Wenner, a senior exec at Wenner Media told the WSJ.