SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SUP, an international media company based in Moscow, today announced that it has acquired LiveJournal from Six Apart, Ltd. LiveJournal is one of the world's leading global online communities, with a monthly audience of more than 18m1 unique visitors in nearly every country in the world. Additionally, SUP today launched a new U.S. company, LiveJournal, Inc., based in San Francisco, which will manage and operate LiveJournal. More information on the acquisition is available at http://community.livejournal.com/LJ_2008/.
This deal is the second agreement between SUP and Six Apart. In October 2006, SUP concluded a licensing agreement with Six Apart to support and develop the large Russian segment of LiveJournal, which now represents 28%2 of its monthly audience. In the past twelve months, SUP and Six Apart have worked in close collaboration to improve LiveJournal for Russian users during which time the community has almost doubled3.
"Having gotten to know LiveJournal in Russia over the past year we see enormous potential in developing the business worldwide; it has already shown its durability in America. We believe this is a great opportunity," said Andrew Paulson, CEO of SUP.
New LJ community to highlight plans launched
The new management team outlined their plans for the service in a new LiveJournal community - LJ_2008 - dedicated to addressing questions and concerns from users, and serving as a forum to discuss anything related to the acquisition. Also at LJ_2008, users will find details about LiveJournal, Inc.'s goals over the next 100 days. These goals include planned upgrades as well as new features and services for the LiveJournal community. The team will focus on such items as service performance, usability, socialization and discovery features. LiveJournal, Inc. is encouraging users to post on the community new ideas for improving the service.
The LiveJournal community was informed of the news yesterday afternoon. SUP promised significant new investment in LiveJournal in the coming months and years. SUP also reassured the community that while subscribing to a minimalist approach in managing the site, it will establish clear and concrete policies with regard to communication and consultation on issues vital to the community.
LJ in Russia
When SUP established a licensing agreement with Six Apart to run LiveJournal in Russia in October 2006 Andrew Paulson said at the time: "LiveJournal is a very important Russian social and cultural phenomenon; our first duty is to 'do no harm,' LiveJournal is the 'blogosphere' in Russia, and being the caretaker of this service is a great privilege and a huge responsibility."
Commenting on SUP's track record in Russia since taking over the Russian segment Chris Alden, CEO and Chairman of Six Apart said, "We were very impressed with SUP's management of the Russian LiveJournal community over the past year and are confident that they will bring resources and energy to develop the product and expand the community."
LJ Management Team and Advisory Board
SUP and Six Apart will work together in the coming months to transfer operations to LiveJournal, Inc. The existing team that worked exclusively on LiveJournal at Six Apart has moved to LiveJournal, Inc., and new general manager, marketing and sales teams will be recruited.
LiveJournal, Inc has announced the formation of the LiveJournal Advisory Board, which will be comprised of both industry experts and members of the LiveJournal community. One of the key members of the Advisory Board will be LiveJournal's founder, Brad Fitzpatrick, who recently left Six Apart for Google. Positions will also be reserved for two members of the LiveJournal community on a rotating basis via an open online election process.
SUP is an international online media company with established partnerships with businesses across the globe. It was founded in the summer of 2006 by an international management team with Russian seed capital. SUP set itself the goal of building a portfolio of high-traffic-generating projects based in Moscow from which to expand worldwide.
Since its launch SUP has generated Russian-language traffic and sold advertising inventory on its own sites and others inside Russia. These projects include:
* LiveJournal.ru, the most popular blogging platform and social network in Russia;
* Championat.ru, currently one of the top three sports news and entertainment services in the Russian internet;
* +SOL, a media sales house which is SUP's internal commercial department and also sells online advertising for a number of high-profile Russian and international Web sites (Yahoo!, Last.fm, The Times, amongst others);
* Victory S.A., a full-service online advertising agency which devises and delivers online marketing campaigns for leading Russian and international brands.
For more information, please visit http://www.sup.com/en/.
3 LiveJournal internal logs