In November of 2015 Vice Media announced it would take over A&E’s H2, with plans to launch its own cable network. Today, fellow male-focused publisher-turned-media brand, Complex Networks, has made a similar play to jump onto linear television with Fuse Media — first with a a 90-min block programmed with first-run episodes of Complex Networks 20+ original series including “Hot Ones” and “Sneaker Shopping”. Together the two companies will syndicate and cross-distribute original formats on eachother’s channels, bridging digital and linear television. And, according to the deal, both will co-market and co-sell on advertising and media against those formats.
“With Complex we couldn’t have found a better partner to make 1 + 1 = 3,” said CEO Michael Schwimmer, Fuse Media, which currently reaches 70 million households and will deliver Fuse branded formats to Complex for digital distribution. “This alliance is an organic extension of [the Complex] brand and with Fuse, we have identified a truly like-minded partner interested in offering both the audience and the advertising community the untraditional and unexpected,” added Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex Networks.
Since its investment from Verizon, Complex Networks, which grabs over 810 million views monthly worldwide via its various owned and operated sites, has increased its production as part of a first look relationship with the telco. This deal with Fuse further signals the company’s plans to produce for all platforms and find additional streams of advertising revenue.
“Complex is a culture and a lifestyle, not just a destination or a platform for content — so any extensions of the brand outside our massive digital footprint had to be well thought out and needed to feel very Complex in their execution,” added Antoniello. “Fuse understands that mission and together we will innovate on ad sales initiatives that bring incredible added value to advertisers looking for scale and a fresh and differentiated way to reach discerning millennial audiences.”