News June 18, 2019

“We have the relevance that MTV had”: Complex eyes Aussie expansion

“We have the relevance that MTV had”: Complex eyes Aussie expansion
Image: complex.com

New York-based youth culture brand Complex is exploring international licensing opportunities for its events and video properties.

Complex Networks president Christian Baesler claims that Complex is followed globally today in a similar way to MTV in its heyday.

As a result, the company will look to capitalise further on overseas markets.

As Digiday reports, Complex Networks has made going international a priority for the next year and is looking at markets including Japan, China, Germany, the UK and, you guessed it, Australia.

“We have the relevance that MTV had years ago: we’re the guide for what to listen to and what to wear, and celebrities follow us in a similar way to how they followed MTV,” said Baesler.

The expansion is being headed up by Baesler and svp of global content distribution Myles O’Connell.

“Hip-hop and streetwear are big in other markets — Europe and Asia — and we have not approached those markets in an owned and operated way,” Baseler added.

Complex.com already has an Australian presence through a partnership with Archetype Media.

Local content is led by editor Steve Duck with local versions of the popular Sneakers series, The Weekly Drop and entertainment vertical The GOAT Show.

With 40% of Complex Networks’ total audience outside the US, the brand acknowledges there’s room to grow. It’s about making smart decisions and doing it right, and ensure the value of the brand is not diminished in any way.

“We’re trying to avoid the Vice mistake of going into too many markets too fast,” said Baesler.

“We’re not going to scale the business side by diminishing the value of the brand.

“As we expand into each new market, whatever we do will stay true to our core, which is more important than just getting new revenue.”

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