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MediaLab Acquires Genius for $80M

MediaLab.Ai Inc. has acquired lyrics database company Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Genius Media Group Inc. for $80 million.

The Santa Monica-based app and internet media holding company confirmed the purchase Sept. 16.

 
MediaLab adds Genius to a portfolio of brands it claims generates more than 80 million monthly active users, including messaging app Kik Interactive Inc., anonymous social media platform Whisper, music distribution platform Datpiff, and content aggregating video blog Worldstar Hip Hop.

 
The company announced it would be making layoffs at Genius as part of the acquisition. “We are restructuring the way in which original content is produced at Genius and, as part of that, some very talented individuals on the content and production teams were let go,” MediaLab said in a statement.

“The scale of the community platform is what attracted us to Genius, and this is where we will be heavily investing going forward with a renewed focus on emerging artists.”

Founded in 2009 as Rap Genius, the site allows users to provide a database of transcripts, annotation and interpretation to song lyrics, news stories, sources, poetry and other documents.

 
The company dropped “Rap” from its name in 2014 as it expanded to cover other forms of media, augmented by original video content, live events and concerts. Genius claims to have more than 2 million contributors to its lyrics database.

Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist
Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based reporter and film critic with 20+ years of experience at dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.
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