WPP invests in hip-hop media company

Through WPP Ventures, based in Silicon Valley, WPP is making a strategic investment in All Def Digital (ADD), a US digital media company founded by hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons, in 2013.
WPP invests in hip-hop media company

WPP Ventures is investing along with Third Wave Digital Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as existing ADD investors Greycroft Partners, Advancit Capital, Nu Horizons Investments and e.ventures. ADD employs approximately 35 people and is based in Los Angeles.

ADD is a leader in producing and distributing music and content tailored to reach urban-centric youth culture. It distributes this content through its own media properties, social media channels, traditional and premium television, cinemas and live events. It works with advertisers through an in-house creative advertising agency and has its own record label through a partnership with Universal Music Group.

It also operates a curated network of emerging and established talent including social video stars, stand-up comics, writers, actors, poets and hip-hop recording artists. It is the fastest growing media brand in urban youth programming, touching over 100 million fans monthly across YouTube and Facebook.

Adding to investments

This investment continues WPP strategy of focusing on three key areas that differentiate the group’s offering to clients: technology, data and content.

In addition to ADD, this year WPP invested in Mitú, Inc, a leading online Hispanic-focused digital content creator and media company catering to young Latino audiences in the US and Latin America. Another is in Refinery 29, a fashion and lifestyle media company that provides content, shopping solutions and social networking opportunities targeting millennial women. Other content investments include KidinaKORNERCreate, Truffle Pig, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Say Media, Bruin Sports Capital, Courtside Ventures, The Weinstein Company and VICE.

The group’s digital revenues were over $7bn in 2015, representing 37% of the group's total revenues of $19bn. WPP has set a target of 40-45% of revenue to be derived from digital in the next five years.

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