It’s time for Black-owned media to have more control within the industry, and this first-of-its-kind collective is launching an inspiring initiative to help us accomplish that.
Today, Group Media — a unique media collective and accelerator dedicated to the advancement of Black-owned media properties — has launched with a mission to increase Black ownership and help Black media conglomerates claim their rightful place in this space.
Founding member companies of Group Black include ESSENCE, Holler, PlayVS, Afropunk, The Shade Room and Baller Alert. Additionally, Holler’s Travis Montaque joins as co-founder, director and CEO alongside serial entrepreneur Richelieu Dennis, Group Black’s co-founder and chairman.
As part of its launch, Group Black is kicking off its buying power with an inaugural $75 million target media investment from GroupM, a press release reports, which is also part of its effort to deploy at least $500 million in Black-owned media by the end of next year.
“Our mission is simple: dramatically transform the face of media ownership and investment. We started Group Black to infuse diversity into the next generation of creativity and storytelling, and create scaled solutions for brands. The promise and approach is both urgent and personal,” Montaque said in a statement. “We have the expertise to know what solutions will work, entrenched allies to support us, and a dogged belief that we must build a self-sustaining platform of Black media ownership for the industry to evolve. Our approach and allies have put us in a unique position to deploy significantly more dollars into existing and emerging Black-owned media companies than ever before.”
For far too long, Black ownership in the media space has been a difficult challenge to overcome and only recently have we seen advertisers try to become more active in supporting us — that is following public callouts from fellow Black media companies.
It’s no secret that Black-owned media companies are under-funded and oftentimes overlooked in the grand scheme of the industry, which is why Group Black wants to help create a solution that will provide more equity all around.
A press release reports that the media collective approach is following a two-part procedure that will address the need for immediate incubation and growth of Black owned-media, and celebrate our diverse voices.
This includes building an ecosystem of Group Black Members, Group Black Brands and Group Black Creators, and jumpstart Group Black Ventures — an accelerator that combines capital and expertise to build up the next generation of Black-owned media brands and creators. The goal behind this approach is to ultimately champion Group Black’s effort to strengthen the pipeline of Black-owned media.
“Group Black is providing a real, tangible way for Black ownership to take root and thrive in an environment that has traditionally excluded or marginalized Black ownership,” Dennis said in a statement. “I’ve leveraged my career and businesses in the consumer products, finance and media universe to champion equity, diversity and wealth creation across industries. For change to persist, we can’t make subtle modifications to the existing universe; we need to carve out new space for voices to be heard, bolstered and amplified. Group Black’s approach of ingenuity and inclusion is the next chapter in “breaking the walls” of exclusion in the media industry.”
For more information about Group Black, visit its website.