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The Hype Machine

BUZZMEDIA Signs Up 6 Major Music Sites, Including The Hype Machine And RCRD LBL

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Entertainment media company BUZZMEDIA (formerly known as Buzznet) has just announced the addition of 6 music sites to its ever-growing list of properties, namely PureVolume, PopMatters, Gorilla vs. Bear, The Hype Machine, Concrete Loop and RCRD LBL.

The news was just released, but it looks like industry blog Hypebot.com jumped the gun, deeming the addition of the 6 sites an outright acquisition of the lot.

After contacting BUZZMEDIA we’ve learned that in reality, the deals with The Hypemachine, RCRD LBL and PopMatters are advertising partnerships while the others are straight-up purchases. Update: in the case of Gorilla vs. Bear, it concerns an acquisition in the form of an investment, with right to buy the remainder. All sites will retain editorial control, we were also told.

Digging a bit deeper, it looks like the acquisition of The Hype Machine for one had been rumored for a while, based on the mentioning of BUZZMEDIA in the site’s footer. But the site’s founder, Anthony Volodkin, responded to blog posts spreading that rumor in comments, saying they needed to be corrected because BUZZMEDIA does not in any way own but merely sells advertising on The Hype Machine.

From what we can gather, there are similar arrangements in place with PopMatters and RCRD LBL, the site that was started as a joint venture between Downtown Music and Peter Rojas of Engadget, Gizmodo and GDGT Web fame.

BUZZMEDIA’s current music properties include Lyrics.com, Stereogum, Buzznet, Idolator, Absolute Punk and the official websites for Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and other celebrities such as Nicole Richie.

Together, these Web publications are said to reach more than 50 million pop culture, music and celebrity enthusiasts worldwide on a monthly basis, according to BUZZMEDIA’s website.

Here’s how they pitch the portfolio on there:

Its influential and authentic social media properties afford brand advertisers unique access to impassioned and engaged audiences through a blend of professional editorial, expert opinion, user contributions and customized marketing solutions.

Reads like a “targeted content at large scale” play to me (think Glam for entertainment).

BUZZMEDIA says the addition of the aforementioned music sites cements its Music division as the largest independent publisher of music content on the Web, as measured by comScore Media Metrix last month.

The company provides a surprisingly low amount of details about its business on its corporate website, but from what we can gather they’ve raised over $35 million in four rounds, from investors like Focus Ventures, Anthem Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Redpoint Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. Earlier this month, the company put out a press release announcing the recruitment of four sales & advertising people, all relatively notable people with backgrounds at Yahoo, MySpace, Fanscape, Time Inc. and other familiar names.

Earlier press releases tout the appointments of former founding general manager of TMZ Alan Citron as President, Mike Porath, former AOL News Editor-in-Chief as SVP of Programming and Alex Blagg, founding editor of MSN Wonderwall and Best Week Ever as Executive Editor of portfolio site Celebuzz.

This is a company steadily building a financial foundation while continuously adding experienced and savvy staff to its most important divisions as well as new sites to its publisher portfolio either through acquisition, joint-venture or advertising agreements.

In other words, one to keep a close eye on.

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