Last week, entertainment and media news site The Wrap News Inc. announced they would acquire VideoInk, Inc., a business news site about the evolving digital video industry. VideoInk utilizes a membership model, offering members exclusive stories, videos and events, VIP intel, education, video webinars and other perks for $1 a day. In addition, The Wrap will announce a new premium subscription of its own in the near future. This will be their first subscription venture.
Founded by Jocelyn Johnson, VideoInk started in 2012. According to The Wrap, VideoInk was an early adopter of the subscription model. Johnson will join The Wrap as director of membership and digital video news. She will be responsible for The Wrap’s new premium subscription product and for developing a community around the digital video business. VideoInk’s current subscribers will receive additional benefits once The Wrap’s premium service launches.
“I’m excited to merge our business with the highly engaged community that Jocelyn has built at VideoInk, and it is the perfect foundation for the coming WrapPRO service,” said Sharon Waxman, founder and CEO of TheWrap, in a statement. “The fact that Jocelyn is also a female founder makes this deal all the more gratifying.”
Johnson also commented on the acquisition and her new role at The Wrap.
“Since launching subscription we’ve seen that exclusive access, deep intel and community are of high value to our readers. We’ve built a nice foundation for that business to grow and with TheWrap’s scale, existing events and seasoned editorial, we’re excited to accelerate that growth,” said Johnson. “Also, Sharon and I have a shared vision for the future of media, and I’m looking forward to work alongside her and the team to bring that vision to life.”
This acquisition news comes just a month after The Wrap announced the expansion of its events division, hiring Nina Rohde Brown as vice president of marketing and events. Brown has been tasked with expanding the company’s sales, marketing and production teams as well as the volume and scale of The Wrap’s live events. The Wrap currently products about 75 events a year including series screenings, influencer events and conferences.
With a background in entertainment publicity and production, Brown served as the vice president of events for UBM, a London-based events company, where she managed 40 major events a year.
“I am thrilled to be joining the talented team at TheWrap,” Brown said in a statement. “The level of quality, passion and purpose is immediately recognizable in our growing portfolio of events.”
“TheWrap’s events have been a key part of engaging our influential entertainment audience with insight and community since our founding in 2009, but it now has become its own vibrant brand,” said Waxman said. “Nina is exactly the person we wanted to grow the business opportunities across our live events.”
The Wrap also hired digital veteran Glenn Walker as its head of digital strategy. As a business executive with more than 20 years of experiences launching start-ups and business development, Walker’s role will be to expand The Wrap’s presence on social platforms and partner channels and to help with product development. Walker has previously worked with companies such as AT&T, Delta Airlines, Amazon and American Express Asia.
“With its strong brand and deep insider access, The Wrap is well positioned to build on its success and fill the need for a credible digital news platform as well as impactful industry events,” Walker said.
“The Wrap is poised for a new phase of growth that is our most exciting yet,” said Waxman in a news release. “The talent and experience of Nina and Glenn bring a new level of leadership to achieve success across our ambitious initiatives.”
The Wrap was founded by journalist Sharon Waxman in 2009. The entertainment and media news site covers breaking news, investigative stories and analysis as well as original articles and photography featuring the latest Hollywood news in TV, film, events, awards and more. Some of this week’s headlines include stories about Les Moonves and his replacement Joe Ianniello, The Tonight Show‘s cancellation of a Norm Macdonald appearance, and news about NCIS: New Orleans and Grey’s Anatomy.
It looks like The Wrap has grown organically since its early days. The site earns revenue from advertising, sponsored content and event revenue. It is logical to add a premium subscription option for a more reliable, recurring revenue source. A quick review of the site shows that it doesn’t offer the same sensational headlines of other popular entertainment news sites. It offers some exclusive content and unique perspectives not available elsewhere, so the site should be able to convert some of its 35 million page visitors into subscribers. The acquisition of VideoInk will get the site in front of a new audience with build-in subscribers too.