MEDIA WEEK: BBC Worldwide sells Lonely Planet at a £80m ($117m) loss
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has sold the Lonely Planet guidebook business to US company NC2 Media for £51.5m ($75m), less than half it paid to acquire it. Under the terms of the deal, BBC Worldwide will receive £41.2m ($60m) on completion of the sale. Another £10.3m will be paid in one year’s time.
The sale figure is significantly lower than the £130m BBC Worldwide (BBCW) paid to buy the “backpacker’s bible” publishing business, which has printed approximately 120 million books in 11 different languages, in 2007. BBCW has written down Lonely Planet’s value by £67m to £63m in the past six years. Up to 60 per cent of Lonely Planet costs are incurred in its headquarters in Melbourne, where the business has been hit by the rising value of the Australian dollar.
REUTERS: SxSW attracts biggest stars of music, film and now ad industry
South by Southwest – which began as a music festival in Austin Texas in 1987 – has become the biggest music, film, tech, media and marketing event in the world. The 10-day festival, which ended at the weekend, now attracts record numbers of advertising professionals. Ad agency JWT, the WPP subsidiary, flew more than 60 execs from its offices around the world. The agency started what it called a five-day “pop-up” ad agency that took several dozen pitches from start-ups in Austin and offered its marketing services for free to a chosen winner. David Eastman, the chief executive of JWT North America, said firms like his relished a lucrative marketing opportunity like SXSW, though he saw the irony in his presence. “The bad side of all this is that SXSW used to be indie, for the folks who didn’t want to be mainstream,” Eastman said. “When the brands arrive, the money arrives as well.”
MASHABLE: Unnamed BlackBerry partner buys 1 million BlackBerry-10 smartphones
An “established” partner of Canada’s BlackBerry has placed an order for one million BlackBerry 10 smartphones, the company has announced. This is the “largest ever single purchase order” in the company’s history, BlackBerry claims. BlackBerry announced the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones – Z10 and Q10 – on January 30, 2013. With the new version of the platform and these devices, the company hopes to regain some of the market share it’s been steadily losing since 2009. This large order, as well as a recent report of German government adopting the BlackBerry Z10, is certainly a good sign for BlackBerry, who just hasn’t been able to keep up with the iPhones and the Androids in the last couple of years.