Rolling Stone, a leading voice of music and popular culture for nearly 50 years, today announced the formation of a strategic partnership with BandLab Technologies, who will take a 49% minority stake in Rolling Stone, alongside parent company Wenner Media.
BandLab Technologies will focus on expanding Rolling Stone’s business in new markets, and propelling the brand’s global evolution. The BandLab Technologies portfolio of companies and affiliates, led and co-founded by Meng Ru Kuok, includes digital, brand and retail businesses in the music category that complement the continued growth of Rolling Stone.
Through this partnership, Rolling Stone International, a fully-owned subsidiary, will be formed to build on the brand’s worldwide appeal and recognition. Working closely with Rolling Stone’s New York-based team, Kuok will lead Rolling Stone International, to be headquartered in Singapore.
“We are thrilled to have found an extraordinary partner for Rolling Stone as we focus on the brand’s global expansion,” said Gus Wenner, head of digital of Wenner Media. “We see an enormous opportunity to diversify the brand into new markets and new areas of business.”
“Rolling Stone’s impact on culture over the years has been immeasurable and I’m truly honored to be joining the team on the next phase of its journey,” said Meng Kuok, CEO and co-founder of BandLab.
Rolling Stone currently reaches a global audience of over 65 million people, including approximately 22 million domestic digital monthly users, nearly 18 million social fans and followers, and close to 12 million readers of the US print publication.
RollingStone.com’s traffic has been steadily increasing over the past several years, with average monthly unique visitors to the site up nearly 40% in the first half of 2016 compared to the year prior. The site has more than tripled in size over the past three years3 and RollingStone.com revenue from 2013 to 2016 has grown over 90%. Rolling Stone publishes 12 international editions in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Russia.