Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
How Vinyl, Australia's only ASX-listed music company, got into publishing by buying The Brag Media

How Vinyl, Australia's only ASX-listed music company, got into publishing by buying The Brag Media


No transcript...

Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade. Today’s edition features a conversation with the key players behind the deal for Vinyl Group to acquire The Brag Media, Josh Simons and Luke Girgis.

Also in today’s post, the Unmade Index sinks for another day as Seven’s market rout worsens.

If you’ve been thinking about upgrading to an Unmade membership, the beginning of the year is the perfect time. Your membership includes:

  • Member-only pricing for our HumAIn (May 28) and REmade (October 1) conferences;

  • A complimentary invitation to Unmade’s Compass event;

  • Member-only content and our paywalled archives;

  • Your own copy of Media Unmade

Upgrade today

Josh Simons and Luke Girgis on how they did the deal to bring The Brag Media into the Vinyl Group stable

Simons: Sahreholder Songtradr ‘can’t really allow us to fail’

There was some unconventional elements to the announcement that Vinyl Group was going to buy The Brag Media for a little over $8m. Not least was the fact that The Brag Media, while no colossus, is larger in both revenue and profits than its new owner.

During today’s Unmade podcast interview with the two key players in the acquisition - Vinyl Group’s Josh Simons and The Brag Media’s Luke Girgis - the rationale for the deal begins to make more sense.


Vinyl Group consists of:

  • Jaxta - positioned as the IMDB of the music industry, acting as a repository of official music credits ;

  • Vampr (which was founded by muso Simons) - positioned as the LinkedIn, or possibly Tinder, of the music industry, connecting musicians;

  • Vinyl, which, as the name might suggests, is an ecommerce offering selling vinyl records

It’s only a matter of weeks since the overall group rebranded from Jaxta to Vinyl, and months since Simons took charge after the ousting of former CEO Beth Appleton. He goes on the record about those circumstances for the first time, and shares what he’s already learned the hard way about ASX rules.

Simons won the confidence of his board after helping secure Richard Wise (who made his fortune through technology firm WiseTech) as a cornerstone investor.

Other major shareholders in Vinyl Group include the US based music licencing platform Songtradr run by Paul Wiltshire. In the interview, Simons points to the interest owned by Songtradr as a key reason to be confident in the prospects for the business, despite it not yet being profitable. “I don’t want to put words in Paul’s mouth, but they can’t allow us to fail. When you know that, you make decisions with a much longer term view.”

The duo also tackle the structure of the deal, which was mostly in cash rather than stock, in part because Girgis’s business partner and majority owner of The Brag Media Sam Benjamin, has left the business.

Meanwhile, Girgis argues that although the deal would allow him to exit after two years, he’s excited to stay for the long term. He says: “All I know is that I've started this business having more fun and I'm more inspired than I've ever been.

“And we have big ambitions and I I just want to build something incredible and that's what I'm really inspired to do with Vinyl Group.”

Luke Girgis set out his vision for The Brag in this 2022 interview with Unmade:

How Unmade covered the deal announcement in December:

Leave a comment

Unmade Index sinks some more

The Unmade Index sank again on Wednesday, losing 1.31%, which was roughly double the fall experienced by the wider ASX All Ords.

For the second day running, Seven West Media had the biggest fall, losing another 4.08%. The TV-led business saw its market capitalisation fall to $355m.

Rival Nine was also down slighly, by 0.26%, while regional TV player Southern Cross Austereo rose by 1%.

Outdoor company Ooh Media lost 4.07%, while ARN Media was down 3.09%.

Meanwhile, despite announcing a positive revenue and profit number in its half year results yesterday, Domain lost 2.31%.

Time to leave you to your Thursday. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Editing was courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers, sound design and podcast production.

Message us: letters@unmade.media

Tim Burrowes

Publisher - Unmade

Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Media and marketing news with all the in-depth analysis, insight and context you need.
Unmade offers industry news from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best-selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes