NBCUniversal pours in US$500m into Snap IPO

NBCUniversal (NBCU) has invested US$500 million in Snap Inc during its IPO stage. According to an article by CNBC, which is owned by NBCU, the move is part of a strategic investment and partnership.

According to the news source, the partnership will offer NBCUniversal a chance to reach Millennials via its content and brands, a demographic which traditional media companies have struggled with on television.  It is also said to make NBCU the only media company in the United States to have a stake, although other companies are able to buy shares in the open market.

This is not the first time NBCU has invested in the digital media space. Just in November 2016, the company poured an additional US$200 million into news and entertainment network, Buzzfeed, bringing the total investment count to US$400 million. This was to expand the strategic partnership between the two companies and fund the growth of BuzzFeed.

Back in 2015, NBCU also made a US$200 million strategic investment into Vox Media, which houses media brands such as SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, Vox.com, Eater, Racked, Curbed, and Re/code.

According to a letter to employees from NBCU CEO Steve Burke, published in full by CNET, the investment into Snap marks the overall investment of over US$1.5 billion into “promising digital businesses” over the last 18 months. This includes SportsEngine, a digital business relating to how youth sports are managed online.

Burke added that existing digital businesses associated with NBCU's television brands are also showing strong growth such as NBC Entertainment, NBC News, E!, CNBC, NBC Sports and the Golf Channel's GolfNow. The company also stated in the letter that it had participated in the rapid growth of Hulu through its 30% ownership stake.

In addition to its outreach of younger audiences, NBCU also became a majority owner of Awesomeness TV through its acquisition of DreamWorks. Meanwhile, Fandango, also owned by NBCU, acquired Flixster, Rotten Tomatoes and several ticketing and video on-demand services.