Business News Deals Live Business

WPP buys into SFX

By | Published on Tuesday 19 March 2013


The all-new(ish) SFX Entertainment has taken investment for advertising and communications group WPP, which seemingly sees the EDM-based network of websites and events that the v2 SFX company is building as a valuable platform for the brands its agencies represent.

As previously reported, media entrepreneur Robert FX Sillerman has focused on the recently buoyant American EDM scene since relaunching his SFX company last year. The original SFX business of the 1990s provided the original core of what is now Live Nation, and Sillerman’s more recent venture, CKX, with its control of the Elvis Presley estate and ownership of the ‘Idol’ brand, now operates as the CORE Media Group under the ownership of Apollo Management.

Since launching the new SFX, Sillerman has acquired various EDM businesses, mainly club and festival promoters such as Dayglow Productions and Disco Donnie Presents, as well as taking ownership of more eclectic events like Voodoo Experience and striking up a joint venture with Dutch dance promoter ID&T. Last month he also acquired dance music download store Beatport.

Confirming WPP’s investment in his new business, Sillerman said this week: “Investment from WPP is an exciting step for us, as it underlines what we have believed from the start. There is a huge, global, fragmented audience of sixteen to 34 year old dance music consumers that is very difficult to reach. In developing our global platform, we will be able to offer brands the opportunity to connect directly through events, festivals, online and mobile media”.

Meanwhile WPP boss man Martin Sorrell said: “We recognise the value in what SFX is creating and believe we can help bring this valuable audience to our agencies’ global clients. The challenge of navigating through digital and social media is daunting for clients and we believe this partnership can further develop WPP’s content capabilities, particularly in new media in the youth consumer segment”.