Adweek, the leading source of news and insights covering marketing, media and technology, today kicked off the new year with a bang, announcing it has acquired Social Media Week (SMW) and its flagship properties, including Social Media Week Conferences, SMW News & Insights and its recently launched streaming platform SMW+.
Social Media Week was founded in 2009 by Toby Daniels to foster an engaged and elevated conversation on the impact of social media on advertising, media and culture. Social Media Week hosts in-person events across six continents, with nearly 100,000 attendees, and held its first virtual conference this past May with over 175 hours of content and over 10,000 attendees.
In 2020, the role of social media reached a new marketing milestone, providing consumers with not only a whole new level of community interactivity, but also real-time information and dialogue with marketers. Joining powerhouse incumbents Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat, exciting new platforms such as TikTok, Triller and Dubsmash exploded in popularity. Social media managers became more valuable than ever before, and their ability to navigate these new waters has laid the foundation for the next generation of Chief Marketing Officers.
“The SMW acquisition is an important step forward in deepening our connection with these influential and rising marketers,” said Adweek CEO Jeffrey Litvack. “Social media has always been a critical part of marketing and 2020 has further thrust it into the spotlight. Adweek is committed to continuing to serve this vibrant community of marketers and providing them with unrivaled experiences, built upon the decade-long successes of Social Media Week.”
Added Lisa Granatstein, Chief Content Officer, Adweek, “In 2020, the pandemic, the rise of Black Lives Matter and a socially distanced world reinforced the demand for real-time social engagement and the criticality of social media as a marketing platform. Now we’re excited to supersize our social media programming with next-level insights and best practices to help our audience continue to capitalize on these seismic consumer and marketing trends.”
Under Adweek, SMW will continue to expand its virtual presence with the first show, #SMWNYC, announced for May 4–7, 2021. The theme of this year’s flagship conference is “Reinvention: Rebuilding the Systems of Social Media Marketing for a Better Future” and will be chaired by Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week. Mr. Daniels will also join Adweek’s senior leadership team in the role of Chief Innovation Officer.
“After more than a decade operating Social Media Week, my business partner Brian Leddy and I are delighted that we have found a home and strategic partner in Adweek, a company we have long admired for its first-class journalism and coverage of our industry, its dedication to fostering community and its events and awards, which are the gold standard in our industry,” said Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week. “Joining forces with Adweek represents an opportunity to work with a world-class team, accessing a full spectrum of capabilities which will not only help to extend the Social Media Week brand and offering but also help us better serve our community and our partners.”
Added Jeffrey Litvack, “We are thrilled to have Toby and Brian join the Adweek family and look forward to working more closely with both of them and the entire SMW team.”
The SMW acquisition is the third media property being acquired in the past six months, since Shamrock Capital took ownership of Adweek. These deals have focused on expanding Adweek’s reach with curated, targeted brand marketing communities and are part of an overall strategy focused on expanding key advertising and marketing growth areas. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.