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Business publisher Morning Brew announced its acquisition of audio and video startup Our Future, which produces short-form business content on platforms, as part of the publisher’s bid to broaden its appeal to younger, business-focused audiences. The financial details of the deal were not shared.
The Axel Springer-owned publisher plans to expand Our Future’s short-form video series to longer-form video content and podcasts. The company’s primary focus was podcasting when it started at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. The company shifted to creating short-form videos in 2021 and has accumulated more than 1 billion views on platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. Popular videos include a breakdown of how FTX’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried tried to help Elon Musk buy Twitter with more than 120,000 views on TikTok and how mathematician and billionaire hedge fund manager Jim Simons broke the stock market, with more than 130,000 views on the platform.
Morning Brew will also help build Our Future’s agency services, which the startup used to create social-first content for brands like HubSpot and StartEngine, as another revenue stream outside of video ads.
“Bringing Our Future under our umbrella increases our reach on social platforms while expanding our audience into Gen Z,” Morning Brew chief executive officer Austin Rief said in a statement. “I am also excited about the potential of taking Our Future’s expertise in short-form video and working with big brands to help them grow their audiences.”
As more young people get their news from short-form video platforms (74% of those aged between 18 and 34 get their daily news from YouTube and TikTok, per the American Press Institute), more publishers are beefing up their video chops. Last week, The Arena Group acquired Fexy Studios, expanding its video footprint. Adweek recently reported BuzzFeed Inc. produced more than 5,000 editorial videos distributed on Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and TikTok in Q3 2022 where views grew 60% compared to Q2 2022. In Vice Media’s case, revenue from vertical and social video grew 40% year over year with Story Studio rolling out this year, Vice’s internal app that lets its staff and freelancers create Vice-like vertical videos.
While the industry is under economic turmoil due to a looming recession, digital media companies are having to make hard decisions about where to make cuts and where to invest. Last month, Morning Brew cut 14% of its staff. In November, Axel Springer-owned tech and media company Protocol was shut down entirely, affecting 60 jobs.
Despite these cuts, Morning Brew said in a statement it’s set clear intentions to expand through mergers and acquisitions, Our Future being one of them.
“The media landscape is evolving and we believe the future is turning non-media companies into media companies,” Our Future co-founder and chief operating officer Simran Sandhu said in a statement.
Morning Brew did not disclose figures on the acquisition.