Fandom CEO Perkins Miller on growth plans
TPG-backed media firm Fandom is planning to invest more in content, commerce and events, CEO Perkins Miller tells Axios.
Why it matters: Despite market conditions and the ad slowdown, Fandom has its eyes on acquisitions of collectibles businesses and other digital media sites.
What they're saying: Speaking from Fandom's New York office in a conference room themed after Cyberpunk's Night City, Miller says Fandom is "pretty active in conversations" about potential deals, though "nothing is on the table" yet.
- "We have to be quite selective because we're on this mission that's very specific [with] fan identity," Miller says. "We want to maintain that profitable growth trajectory that we're on."
Catch up quick: Previously known as Wikia, Fandom was founded in 2004 by Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. Integrated Media, an investment firm backed by private equity firm TPG, acquired Fandom in 2018, valuing it at around $200 million.
- The company is focused on fan communities of movies, TV shows, games and anime.
- Fandom has made several acquisitions to date, including Screen Junkies from Defy Media and Curse Media from Amazon's Twitch in 2018. Last year, Fandom acquired seven media brands from Red Ventures, including TV Guide.
Of note: Collectibles is on its M&A wish list.
- Fandom recently partnered with Displate, a Poland-based art manufacturer, on a set of Star Wars posters.
- "People like me — I'm a technologist — get ahead of ourselves thinking everything's going to be virtual," Miller says. "In reality, people do like tangible stuff."
Meanwhile: Miller says Fandom hopes to grow its events business, which includes its annual Community Connect event and a party at San Diego Comic-Con. In 2021, it partnered with Showtime for the New York premiere of Dexter.
- Fandom is also eyeing more subscription content and services.
By the numbers: Miller declined to disclose revenue but said the EBITDA margins have been "several times" improved. The company is profitable, he says.
- Traffic is up about 20% since 2019, Miller says, with 350 million monthly unique visitors across its sites.
- Fandom has 40 million pages of content on its platform created by hundreds of thousands of creators and has 250,000 creator communities.