Junkee for sale: Ooh Media announces plans to sell youth-focused publication

Ooh Media is set to renew its focus on its core out-of-home assets, announcing its intentions to sell digital youth publication Junkee Media, which it purchased in 2016.

Chief executive officer, Cathy O’Connor, said the decision was made after a strategic review during which Ooh Media decided to transition away from online digital publishing. As a result, it will appoint advisors to sell Junkee, while Junkee CEO Neil Ackland will remain with Ooh Media.

Ooh Media’s original purchase of Junkee came as a surprise to the industry, but appeared a signal of intent that the company would diversify further, something that hasn’t come to fruition in the five years since the purchase.

Ooh Media CEO Cathy O’Connor

O’Connor said out-of-home is “what we do best”, and that focusing on core OOH assets will allow Ooh Media to better maximise returns for brands, and leverage its assets and data sets more effectively.

“Our strategy is to concentrate on out-of-home and do what we do best – making brands unmissable through our unique advantages in delivering audiences at scale, leveraging our exclusive data sets and showcasing Out of Home’s creative power,” she said.

“Our corporate purpose is to make public spaces better, which means we will use our digital media assets to go beyond just advertising, providing contextually relevant information and content that enhances public spaces. We believe this gives us clear differentiation and increases the value of our assets and our advertising.”

O’Connor revealed plans to sell Junkee in the second half of 2021, and teased further initiatives that will be announced over the coming months.

“When I talk to advertisers and agencies, they tell me they want to reach the right audience at the right price, format and location to deliver the best ROI, but they also say it is equally important to have a strong creative message that cuts through.

“As the market leader, we will show brands how best to use Out of Home smartly and creatively to deliver better results.”

Junkee editor-at-large, Tim Duggan

Junkee Media’s roots began in 2000 when Matt Callander, Libby Clark and Andre Lackmann launched dance music blog inthemix. They were soon joined by Neil Ackland, with the company originally known as Sound Alliance, with Tim Duggan coming on board in 2006.

Sound Alliance launched the Junkee publication in March 2013, and then rebranded as Junkee Media in 2015, before Duggan and Ackland sold the publication to Ooh in 2016.

Junkee Media appointed Gyan Yankovich as its managing editor in late 2020 following the appointment of Robb Stott to editorial director, in a move that saw Tim Duggan step back from the business to become its editor-at-large.

As mentioned, Ackland will gie up his role as Junkee CEO but remain as Ooh Media’s chief content, marketing and creative officer.

O’Connor thanked the Junkee Media team for their contribution. “The Junkee team have done a great job building a powerful media brand, and the recent long-term partnerships with Google and Facebook are testament to the value inherent in the business and its promising future.

“We believe this decision gives Junkee the best opportunity to build on its legacy and become even more successful for many years to come.”

In a chat on the Mumbrellacast recently, O’Connor teased that the sale of Junkee might be on the agenda, saying the Ooh Media was focussed on maximising the potential of its core outdoor assets, as opposed to striving to diversify further.

Listen to O’Connor’s full chat with Mumbrella, below (from 22:45): 



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