Penske Media Completes Its Acquisition of Rolling Stone Magazine

Penske Media has finally completed its acquisition of Rolling Stone.

Last summer, Penske Media Corporation (PMC) made a strategic investment in BuzzAngle Music.

To ‘leverage its key brands’ – Variety, Rolling Stones, Deadline, and Indiewire – PMC wants to ‘expand the exposure’ of BuzzAngle Music charts.  This would take on Billboard’s widely-used charts in the music industry.

Unlike Billboard’s oftentimes inscrutable chart methodologies, BuzzAngle Music provides easier-to-read charts with countless sorting options.  The analytics service, for example, releases daily album and song sales, streaming activity, and radio airplay broken down by market.  According to the company, BuzzAngle’s methodology also allows for over ten trillion combinations of daily individualized reports, with tracking for albums, songs, artists, labels, and distributors in multiple countries.

Now, Penske Media has confirmed the completion of its major acquisition.

Locking down Rolling Stone.

In late 2017, PMC purchased a 51% controlling stake in Rolling Stone magazine from founder Jann Wenner.  BandLab Technologies, a Singapore-based company, has previously purchased 49% from Wenner.

Now, Penske Media has purchased the remaining stake from BandLab.

In a memo sent out to staff members, Jay Penske, Chairman and CEO of PMC, confirmed,

In the twelve months since PMC’s initial investment into this incredible team and legendary brand, the need to consolidate the Rolling Stone business has become abundantly clear and something that BandLab and their leadership team also recognized and were in full support of.

Penske added,

We continue to have shared goals and will continue to collaborate in the future.  This strategic transaction is a key move for what will be many years of future growth and expansion for Rolling Stone, both domestically and abroad.

Prior to PMC’s purchase in 2017, amidst declining physical media and advertising sales, Rolling Stone had struggled to remain afloat.  The magazine struggled to compete with other online outlets.  Yet, Wenner had long resisted selling the company.

He finally opened the door to potential investors three years ago.


Featured image by Rolling Stone.