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July 21, 2024
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Fandom spends $50m in acquiring gaming websites

In a $50 million transaction with digital marketing firm Red Ventures, Fandom is combining several entertainment and gaming content properties, including TV Guide and Metacritic.

GameSpot, Metacritic, TV Guide, GameFAQs, Giant Bomb, Cord Cutters News, and Comic Vine were all acquired by San Francisco-based Fandom as part of the agreement. According to Fandom, the websites collectively draw 46 million active monthly visitors.

Financial details of the agreement were not made public, but a source familiar with it estimated that Fandom would pay “in the mid-eight figures” for the properties with cash. As part of their $500 million agreement to purchase the CNET Media Group from Paramount Global, Red Ventures purchased TV Guide, Metacritic, GameSpot, and Giant Bomb in 2020.

Fandom, which was founded in 2004, now has more than 250,000 user-curated wiki articles covering gaming, TV, and movies, reaching almost 300 million monthly active users. Jimmy Wales, a co-founder of Wikipedia, and businesswoman Angela Beesley Starling established Fandom. It was sold to a business run by Jon Miller that was financed by the venture capital firm TPG in 2018.

Beyond its wiki-based roots, Fandom has continued to grow thanks to the most recent agreement. 2018 saw Fandom purchase ScreenJunkies from the now-defunct Defy Media, the creators of the well-known “Honest Trailer” series. In 2019, the company purchased Curse Media, combining gaming wikis with built-in digital gaming technologies. Fanatical, an online video game retailer, was purchased by Fandom in 2021.

GameSpot, TV Guide, Metacritic, the Honest Trailers team, and the weekly video news program “The Loop” will all be housed under Fandom Productions, the content division of Fandom.

Fandom’s CEO Perkins Miller said the agreement would increase the company’s financial capacities and offer immersive content to partners, advertising, and fans. Fandom will become a one-stop shop for fans throughout their entertainment and gaming journeys thanks to their reliable insights, reviews, and material, in addition to producing extraordinary fan experiences.

Red Ventures also owns the websites Bankrate, Lonely Planet, the Points Guy, BestColleges, and CNET. LionTree acted as Red Ventures’ sole financial advisor for the agreement with Fandom.

With Fandom at the helm, there is great confidence that these brands and their employees will be well-equipped to continue empowering and connecting gaming and entertainment audiences around the world, said Christina Miller, Red Ventures’ chief strategy officer, in a statement regarding the acquisition. She noted that Red Ventures would continue to concentrate on releasing the next stage of growth and evolution of its powerful stable of decision-making brands.

Fandom is growing 

Fandom already claimed 300 million monthly active users accessing more than 250,000 Wiki groups and 40 million pages of content. In industries including video games, movies, TV, streaming entertainment, comic books, and music, the new publications will contribute an additional 46 million MAUs. GameFAQs, Giant Bomb, Cord Cutters News, and Comic Vine are a few of the more publications covered by the agreement.

The acquisition would increase data and insights for Fandom’s data platform, known as FanDNA, and broaden its range of possibilities for ad partners, including game publishers, studios, and streaming services aiming to reach the proper consumers interested in their products.

With marketers quickly moving away from third-party data on a larger scale (and therefore more first-party data) has become crucial for publishers and brands wanting to efficiently target the correct audiences since Apple AAPL +3.1% virtually barred cookies on its iOS platform.

Over the years, Fandom has purchased a number of entertainment and gaming-focused websites, including ScreenJunkies in 2018, Curse Media in 2019, and game e-commerce site Fanatical in 2021.

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