Penske Media’s joint venture with MRC, P-MRC Holdings, is acquiring 50% of SXSW, producer of the South by Southwest (SXSW) creative festival focussed on the convergence of film, music, tech and media. Penske is the entertainment industry’s leading publisher with brands including The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Rolling Stone and Billboard.
Over 400k people attended SXSW in 2019 which was online only in 2020. The next festival is scheduled for March 2022 in Austin, Texas. Last year, SXSW became one of the first major live events to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the festival laid off 30% of its staff.
PMC and MRC – formerly a subsidiary of Nielsen – last year announced the formation of PMRC Holdings, a joint venture bringing together The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide. It also announced a content partnership to produce television, film and other formats whereby MRC will access the intellectual property across the portfolio of PMRC brands. The two companies have also combined their music data businesses including Alpha Data, Variety Business Intelligence, and the Billboard music charts.
No terms disclosed but SXSW is believed to have annual revenue of some $100m.