FTSE 100-listed advertising and marketing giant WPP has made a strategic investment in SFX Entertainment, the digital media company providing a platform for electronic dance music events.
A statement issued by WPP said that the investment would enable WPP's operating companies to tap into the fast-growing international electronic dance music markets with a focus on sponsorship and branded entertainment opportunities.
"It continues WPP's strategy of developing digital media beyond traditional advertising, which has become increasingly important to clients trying to connect with 16-34 year-old 'digital natives," the group said.
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New York-based SFX was founded by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Sillerman in 2011. The company has a collective audience of over 100m connected, mobile music fans through its various properties. These include Beatport, ID&T North America (Sensation and Mysteryland), Life In Color, Disco Donnie Presents and Miami Marketing Group.
Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP Chief Executive Officer, said: "We recognize 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."
Sillerman said: "The 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 16-34 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."
Dance music has become a $4.0bn a year global phenomenon and DJ events have become one of the fastest growing segments in live entertainment with 45% year-on-year growth since 2007, according to WPP.
WPP's share price was down 0.74% to 1,075p at 09:53 on Monday morning.
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