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Mixmag publisher acquires Kerrang!

By | Published on Wednesday 26 April 2017


The publisher of Mixmag has acquired Kerrang! magazine with plans to take the title monthly and expand its global audience online.

Originally conceived as a supplement to another music publication, Sounds, metal mag Kerrang! went from monthly to fortnightly to weekly during its first decade. It was then acquired by EMAP’s consumer magazines business in 1991, which was then itself acquired by Bauer Media in 2008.

Like most print music magazines, Kerrang! has seen its print circulation tumble in recent years. And while it continues to reach a bigger audience online, all magazine publishers have struggled to generate decent revenues around their online readerships. This is because online consumers expect content to be free, and media owners face fierce competition from social and search for ad spend.

Jerry Perkins, who runs Mixmag Media, reckons that he can do a better job of capitalising on the Kerrang! brand online utilising the same model that his company has employed with its clubbing magazine, which was also once owned by EMAP.

While Mixmag and Kerrang! are polar opposites in terms of the genres they champion, the publisher reckons there are parallels between the titles. Speaking to ad industry trade mag Campaign, he said: “Mixmag and Kerrang! are quite similar – they’re ‘fuck it’ audiences. They like what they like and don’t care about what anyone else thinks”.

He goes on: “Kerrang! is a trusted brand because of the years of passion, knowledge and profound enthusiasm that have gone into producing it, week in, week out. Under our ownership Kerrang! will take its rightful place at the heart of a global digital community of like-minded spirits. The platforms are there and, thanks to our recent experience with Mixmag, we know how to use them”.

Perkins says it’s important to keep Kerrang! in print, but that monthly rather than weekly works better, because timely news content belongs online these days, and reducing the frequency of the print edition will allow more time to be put into online channels. Though the cut back on print might ultimately result in some job losses, he admitted.

Mixmag Media’s deal with Bauer also includes the rights to The Face, the style magazine that was also acquired by EMAP but then shut down in 2004. Although the revamp of Kerrang! will come first, Perkins plans to relaunch The Face as an online media, possibly with some print output too.

According to Campaign, Mixmag Media – which will now be rebranded Wasted Talent – financed the acquisition of the Kerrang! brand via its own funds and from existing shareholders. Terms of the deal are not known, though Bauer will retain the rights to operate the Kerrang! radio and TV stations, the latter of which is run by Bauer’s joint venture with Channel 4, the Box Plus Network.